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We have our record, — light and shade- 
Mean — noble — terrible, — inlaid ; 
Of such mosaic is history made. 

Should captious critics urge our blame, 
Ask where that stainless land may be — 
Beneath what sky, wash'd by what sea, — 

Whose scroll shews not the same. 



Ail rightt reset vfd 




K.C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S. 





This volume embodies an attempt to supply a want 
felt as much by the general reader as the student. 
Hitherto there has been available no single work 
setting forth South Africa's story in a connected form. 

The book does not pretend to be the result of 
original research. It is almost wholly founded upon 
the standard histories — more especially those of Dr. 
Theal and Professor Cory — and Leibbrandt's precis of 
the Archives. 

The limitations of space have not only made it 
difficult to deal adequately with many significant 
episodes, but have rendered necessary the exclusion of 
such important subjects as the rise of the great Zulu 
Power under Tsliaka and the dispersal of Bantu Tribes 
which followed. 

The Author's aim has been to produce a concise, 
consecutive narrative, suitable as an introduction to 
those voluminous detailed histories in which so much 
erudition has been displayed and upon which so much 
industry has been expended. 

w. c. s. 

Authors' Club, 

February, 1916. 




(TO 1510) 


The Last Crusade — Decline of the Moslem — The Eastern Trade — 
Prince Henry of Portugal^ — ^An Ancient African Map — Early 
Ventures down the African Coast — Bartholomew Diaz — " The 
Stormy Cape " — John Pedro of Cavilhao — ^Vasco da Gama — 
Discovery of Natal — Attack on Mozambique — Expedition of 
Pedro Alvarez Cabral — Da Gama's Second Expedition — 
Antonio da Saldanha lands at Table Bay — Francisco d'Almeida 
—His Death 1 


(TO 1662) 


Wreck of the Sao Jodo — Sir Francis Drake doubles the Cape — 
The First English Fleet visits Table Bay — The First Dutch 
Fleet for India — Death of King Sebastian of Portugal — Spain 
seizes Portugal — Origin of the Dutch East India Company — 
Its Constitution — Table Bay becomes a *' place of call " — The 
Ocean Post Office — An English Commodore annexes Table Bay 
— Wreck of the Haarlem — The Dutch East India Company 
decides to occupy Table Bay — Jan van Riebeek— Arrival of 
the Expedition — Building of the Fort — The Beach Rangers 
— Wild Animals —Hardships of the Settlers — The First 
Farmers — Introduction of Slaves — Belief in Monomotapa — 
Exploring Expeditions — Culture of the Vine — Trouble with 
the Hottentots — A Plot among the Garrison — Further Ex- 
ploration — Van Riebeek transferred to Batavia — His Cha- 
racter 13 


(TO 1679) 


Religious Controversy — The First School — War between England 
and Holland — Building of the Castle commenced — Arrival of 
a French Fleet — Trouble from Beasts of Prey — Arrival of 
Emigrants from Diisseldorf — Purchase of Territory from the 
Hottentots — European Coalition against the Netherlands — 
Renewed Trouble with the Hottentots — The First Farmers 
beyond the Isthmus — Completion of the Castle — The Objects 
of the Company — Disabilities of the Colonists — A Census 
taken 26 

Contents vii 


(TO 1691) 


Commander Simon van der Stel — His Character — Origin of 
Stellenbosch — The Company's Garden — Namaquas visit the 
Cape— Prosperity of Stellenbosch — Extended Stock-farming 
— A Commission of Inquiry — Reforms — Taxes — Expedition 
to Namaqualand — Discovery of Copper Ore — Wreck of the 
Stavenisse — Exploration north-eastward — Growth of the 
Colony — Oak planting — Registration of Title Deeds — Sump- 
tuary Laws — An Epidemic — Occupation of the Drakenstein 
Valley — Arrival of the Huguenots — Their Distribution — They 
become merged in the Dutch Population — Dealings with 
the Hottentots — Building of a Hospital — The Ravages of 
Scurvy— Piracy — Prosperity of the Settlement — Statistics . 34 


(TO 1750) 

Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel — The Land of Wavern — Prohibition 
of Trade with the Hottentots — European Population breaks 
Bounds — The First Commando — First Church — Character of 
Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel — His Acquisitions of Land — 
•* Vergelegen " — His Farming Operations — General Dissatis- 
faction — Adam Tas — Departure of Wilhem Adriaan van der 
Stel — Regulations as to Emancipation of Slaves — Conflagration 
at Stellenbosch — Expansion — Smallpox — Mortality among 
Hottentots — Laws in force — The Bushmen — The Question 
of Slavery — Disease among Stock — Table Bay as a "port of 
call " — Life in Cape Town — Condition of the Burghers — The 
Pioneer Adventurers— Shipping Disasters — Export of Grain 
— Delagoa Bay— Its Tragic History — Failure of Silk Culture — 
Death of Governor Noodt — Decline of Prosperity— Corrup- 
tion— More Shipping Disasters — Hunting Expeditions East- 
ward—Illicit Traders cause Trouble — Sedition of Estienne 
Barbier — The Bushmen — Destruction of Game — The 
Moravian Society — George Schmidt at Baviaan's Kloof — 
Establishment of New Churches — Simon's Bay — Swellendam 
established— A Visitation of Locusts 45 


(TO 1784) 


Governor Ryk Tulbagh— His Character— Visits of the Abb^ de la 
Gaille — A Census — Slavery and its Effects — Horrible Punish- 
ments—Sumptuary Laws — Smallpox introduced— Nucleus 

viii Contents 

of the South African Library— First Crossing of the Gariep — 
Smallpox again— The Hottentots— Eastern Boundary defined 
— Wine-making Industry— Death of Governor Tulbagh— Cap- 
tain Cook's Description of Cape Town— Governor van Pletten- 
berg — Building of New Hospital — Wreck of De Jonge 
Thomas — Woltemaade— Extension of Eastern Boundary- 
Increased Shipping— Governor van Plettenberg's Tour— The 
Northern Beacon— Meeting with Kaffirs— The Orange River— 
The Fish River Boundary — A Lutheran Minister appointed — 
Official Corruption — General Discontent — A Deputation to 
Holland— What was called " Freedom "—Recall of Governor 
van Plettenberg — The First Kaffir War— A Defence Force 
enrolled — French and English Fleets — Capture of Indiamen 
in Saldanha Bay — Wreck of the Orosvenor — Unknown White 
Women found among the Bantu 64 


(TO 1805) 


Governor van de Graaf! — His Character — Another Deputation to 
Holland — Cape Town garrison — Graaff Reinet founded — The 
Bushmen— Trouble with the Bantu in the Zuurveld — The 
Second Kaffir War — A Futile Campaign— Loss of Confidence in 
the Administration — French Revolutionary Ideas gain Ground 
— Decline of the Dutch East India Company — Expedition to 
Namaqualand — Copper Ore — Commissioners Nederburg and 
Frickenius — Retrenchment and Taxation — Paper Money — 
Moravians again at Genadendal — Commissioner Sluysken — 
Jacobinism — Insurrection at GraafE Reinet — Arrival of an 
English Fleet — France at War with Great Britain and the 
Netherlands — Political Division in Holland — Flight of the 
Stadtholder — He hands Cape Colony over to Great Britain — 
Expedition under Elphinstone and Craig — Muster of the 
Burghers — Arrival of British Reinforcements — Capitulation of 
Cape Town — End of the Dutch East India Company's Rule — 
Administration of General Craig — Submission of the Burghers 
— Attempt to retake the Cape — Dutch Fleet captured in Sal- 
danha Bay — Submission of Graaff Reinet — Another In- 
surrection — Van Jaarsveld — Lord Macartney as Governor — 
His Tyrannical Administration — Extravagance — The Third 
Kaffir War — Building of Fort Frederick at Algoa Bay — More 
Turmoil at GraafE Reinet — Attempt at Settlement of Bushmen 
— The London Missionary Society — ^Dr. van der Kemp — Hos- 
tilities with Hottentots and Bantu — Sir George Young as 
Governor — His Misdemeanours — Captain Adam Kok— Afri- 
kaner's Freebooters — Commissioner de Mist — Retrocession of 
the Cape — Governor Janssens — He visits the Eastern Dis- 
tricts — Districts of Tulbagh and Uitenhage founded — 
Beneficial Reforms — A Census 82 

Contents ix 


(TO 1814) 


War again between Great Britain and France— British Expedition 
to the Cape — Battle of Blaauwberg — Administration of 
General Baird — The Earl of Caledon appointed Governor — 
His Large Powers — Slavery — Development of Uitenhage — 
Bethelsdorp — Mischievous Influence of Exeter Hall — More 
Trouble on the Frontier — Discovery of the Caledon and Kraal 
Rivers — The Magna Charta of the Hottentots — District of 
George formed — Governor Sir John Cradock — Bantu Depre- 
dations — Murder of Landdrost Stockenstrom — The Fourth 
Kafl&r War — Establishment of Military Posts — Founding of 
Grahamstown — Levy of War Contributions — Serious Charges 
against Colonists — The Black Circuit — Establishment of 
Circuit Courts — Fixity of Land Tenure— A Punitive Expe- 
dition — The Governor's Testimony to the Frontier Farmers . 99 


(TO 1827) 


Lord Charles Somerset — His Character — Establishment of a Mail 
Service — Bezuidenhout's Case — Treasonable Overtures to 
Gaika — Flight and Death of Jan Bezuidenhout — Slaghter's 
Nek — The Griquas — Messrs. Anderson & Kramer — Founding 
of Griquatown — Coenraad Buys — Bands of Freebooters — 
Formation of Beaufort West and Worcester Districts — 
Census of 1819 — The Governor visits the Frontier — Meet- 
ing with Gaika and Ndhlambi — The Spoor Law — More 
Military Posts established — Unbearable Condition of Frontier 
— A Pimitive B^id — Growth of Ndhlambi's Power — Makana 
the Prophet — Gaika attacks Ndhlambi — Battle of Amalinda 
— Total Defeat of Gaika — Colonel Brereton's Expedition 
against Ndhlambi — Fifth Kafl&r War — Eastern Districts 
laid Waste — Battle of Grahamstown — Fate of Makana — 
The Keiskamma River declared the Boundary — Sir Rufane 
Donkin — The British Settlers of 1820 — Description by an 
Eye-witness — The Settlers reach their Locations — Their 
Ignorance of Agriculture — Establishment of Periodical Fairs 
— Port Elizabeth — Return of Lord Charles Somerset — 
Arrival of Scotch Presbyterian Clergymen — The Governor's 
Tyrannical Methods— Opening of the South African Public 
Library — More Bantu Depredations — Maqoma — Founding 
of Fort Beaufort— Disastrous Floods — Arrival of the First 
Steamship — Commissioners Colebrook and Bigge — Appoint- 
ment of a Council of Advice— The Currency — Value of the 
RyksdoUar fixed — The Governor's Arbitrary Conduct — 
Struggle for the Freedom of the Press — Messrs. Pringle 
and Fairbairn — The Governor recalled — His Resignation — 
The Amangwane — The Slaughter at Imbolumpini — Death 
of Matiwane Ill 

X Contents 


(TO 1834) 


General Bourke as Acting-Governor — Supreme Court established 
— Resident Magistrates and Civil Commissioners appointed — 
Colony divided into two Provinces — The 50th Ordinance — 
Dr. Philip — His "Researches" — Governor Sir Lowry Cole — 
Formation of Kat River Settlement — Survey of Land between 
Koonap and Fish Rivers — "No Dutch need apply" — Ordi- 
nance regulating the Press — Death of Ndhlambi — Character 
of Gaika — Development of Missions — Opening of the South 
African College — Condition of the Northern Border — ^Stuur- 
man's Freebooters — Andries Waterboer — Sir Benjamin 
D' Urban appointed Governor — ^ Merino Sheep — Legislative 
and Executive Councils — The Sixth Kaffir War — Frightful 
Devastation — "The Province of Queen Adelaide" — The 
Fingos — A Satisfactory Settlement — Lord Glenelg's Action — 
Unaccountable Action of Captain Stockenstrom — The Treaty 
Policy — Difficulties of Captain Stockenstrom — The Governor 
says what he thinks — Abolition of Slavery — Gross Official 
Mismanagement — Increase of Vagrancy — Dismissal of Sir 
Benjamin D'Urban 139 


(TO 1840) 


The Great Trek" — Its Causes — Lord Glenelg's Opinion — Sir 
Benjamin D'Urban's Testimony — The First of the Trekkers — 
Their Misfortunes — The Rendezvous at Thaba-Ntshu — Lions — 
Potgieter and Maritz — " The Protectors of the Voice of the 
People" — The Matabele — Massacre of the Liebenbergs — 
The Laager at Vechtkop — Kindness of the Barolong — Dis- 
sensions — The "Grondwet" framed — Great Victory over 
the Matabele — Flight of Umziligazi — Retief goes to Natal — • 
He visits Dingaan — A Treaty — The Emigrant Farmers cross 
the Drakensberg — Massacre of Retief and his Party — The 
Laagers attacked — Expeditions against Dingaan — Narrow 
Escape of the Emigrant Farmers — Death of Commandant 
Uys — Disastrous Expedition from Port Natal — Potgieter 
retires across the Drakensberg — -Arrival of Andries Pretorius 
— Great Victory at Blood River — Destruction of Umkun- 
gunhlovu — Flight of Dingaan — -An Ambush — British Occupa- 
tion of the Bay of Natal — Departure of the British — Pieter- 
maritzburg founded — Panda makes Overtures — Dingaan 
deposed — The Slaying of Tambusa — Nongalaza defeats 
Dingaan's Army — Panda installed as Chief of the Zulus . . 153 

Contents xi 


(TO I860) 


'he Griquas — Andries Waterboer — Adam Kok — Freebooters — 
Philipolis — The Griquas Split — Gradual Migration of Euro- 
peans across the Orange River — Return of some of the 
Emigrant Farmers — A Comprehensive Annexation — Treaties 
of Alliance with Adam Kok and Waterboer — Treaties with 
Moshesh and Faku — Resultant Irritation — A Lost Oppor- 
tunity — Difficulties between Farmers and Griquas — The 
Fight at Touwfontein — A Settlement arrived at — Major 
Warden — The Ambitions of Moshesh — Founding of Bloem- 
fontein — Sir Harry Smith — Adam Kok surprised — Proclama- 
tion of the Sovereignty — Sir Harry Smith deceived — Pretorius 
intervenes — The Commandos assemble — The Battle of Boom- 
plaats — Establishment of Church Consistories — Trouble in 
Basutoland — The Battle of Viervoet — Moshesh plunders the 
loyal farmers 1G8 


(TO 1854) 


Anarchy — Pretorius asked to restore Order — The Sand River 
Convention — Appointment of an Executive Council — Sinister 
Attitude of Moshesh — Sir George Cathcart — His Ultimatum 
to Moshesh — Assembly of a Strong Military Force — The 
Battle of the Berea — A Politic Submission — Abandonment of 
the Sovereignty decided upon^A Majority against Abandon- 
ment — Unfounded Accusations — The Convention of Bloem- 
fontein 182 


(TO 1868) 
A Difficult Situation — The Basuto — The Constitution framed — 
The Griquas — Double-dealing of Moshesh — President Hoff- 
man's Gift of Gunpowder — Treaty with the Basuto — Its 
Provisions disregarded — The Border violated — Transvaal 
Jealousy — Pretorius visits Bloemfontein — Strained Relations 
— The Verge of War — A Settlement — Basuto Depredations — 
War with Basuto — An Abortive Campaign — Sir George Grey 
mediates — Trouble with the Batlapin — Sir George Grey meets 
Moshesh — Pretorius President of the Orange Free State — 
Union vetoed — More Trouble with Basuto — Migration of the 
Griquas to No Man's Land — Basuto Outrages — President 
Brand — Dutch Reformed Church — Issue of Paper INIoney — 
Sir Philip Wodehouse arbitrates between Orange Free State 
and Basutos — War again declared upon Basuto — Strenuous 
Operations — Moshesh desires Peace — ^Transvaal Commando 
withdrawn — The High Commissioner intervenes — Basutos 

xii Contents 

raid Natal — Renewed Efforts of Free State— Submission of 
Molapo — The High Commissioner restricts Supply of Ammu- 
nition — Basutoland becomes British Territory- — ^Death of 
Moshesh — His Character 190 

(TO 1899) 
First Discovery of Diamonds — "The Star of South Africa" — 
Further Discoveries — The Dry Diggings — Influx of Diggers- 
Camp Life — Fever — Claims of the Griquas — Waterboer cedes 
his Rights to Great Britain — Action of the High Commissioner 
— Keate Award — Government by Triumvirate — Local Dis- 
satisfaction — The Cape Parliament refuses Annexation — 
Discovery of Other Mines — Seizure of Guns — An Ultimatum 
— President Brand proceeds to London — Judicial Decision 
upon Griqua Claims — A Settlement arrived at — Griqualand 
West annexed to the Cape Colony — Rebellion — Prosperity of 
the Free State — Offensive and Defensive Alliance with the 
Transvaal 204 


(TO 1884) 


Early Dissensions — Ohrigstad — Malaria — Lydenburg — Pretorius 
and Potgieter reconciled — Native Troubles — The Bapedi — ■ 
Sekwati — Setyeli — Seizure of Dr. Livingstone's Goods — 
Death of Pretorius and of Potgieter — Confusion and Discord 
— Makapan's Insurrection — • Ecclesiastical Matters — New 
Constitution drafted — The Potchefstrom Volksraad — 
Lydenburg continues obstinate — Religious Controversy — The 
"Dopper" Church — Civil War — War between Native Tribes 
— Apprenticeships — Condition of the People — Intermittent 
War — Discovery of Diamonds — Extension of Boundaries — 
Intervention of British Government — The Keate Award — 
Desire for Union — President Brand's Restraining Influence — 
President Burgers — Migration of the Orthodox — Discovery of 
Alluvial Gold — Cutting the Road to Delagoa Bay — Attack 
on Sikukuni — Unsatisfactory Financial Conditions — Annexa- 
tion of the Transvaal — Broken/ Promises — Sir Garnet 
Wolseley — British Conquest of the Bapedi — The Paarde 
Kraal Meeting — The War of Independence — Majuba — The 
Transvaal again self-governing — The London Convention . 212 


(TO 1902) 


Further Gold Discoveries — Barberton — The Witwatersrand — 

Johannesburg — Enormous Gold Output — The Franchise 

raised — President Kruger's Determination — The " Uit- 

landers " — Their Grievances — The Reform Committee — The 

Contents xiii 

Jameson Raid — Its Results — Sir Alfred Milnor as High 
Commissioner — The Great Petition — The Ultimatum — The 
Great Boer War — The Treaty of Vereeniging 224 


(TO 1848) 
The First Englishmen in Natal — Wreck of the Stavenisse — Early 
Traders in the Bay of Natal — Their Relations with the Zulu 
King — The Republic of Natal — The Reverend Daniel Lindley — 
The Emigrant Farmers attack the Amabaca — Action of 
Faku — Sir George Napier refuses to recognise the Republic — 
The Emigrant Farmers still regarded as British Subjects — 
A British Force lands at Durban — Attack by the Emi- 
grant Farmers' — Richard King's Ride — The Siege — The 
British Relieving Force — Retirement of the Emigrant 
Farmers — Commissioner Cloete meets the Volksraad at 
Maritzburg — Resolution of the Women — The Volksraad 
accepts the British Conditions — Many of the Emigrants re- 
cross the Drakensberg — Natal a Dependency of the Cape 
Colony — Influx of Zulus — Their Lawless Conduct — Despair 
of the Farmers — Visit of Sir Harry Smith — Appointment of 
a Land Commission — Evil Results of Land Speculation . . 228 


(TO 1899) 
Early Immigration to Natal — Business Energy — Bishop Colenso 
— Natal a Distinct Colony — The Transport Industry — An 
Unprecedented Flood — Trouble in Zululand — Strife between 
Cetewayo and Umbulazi — Fertility of Coast Lands — Intro- 
duction of Coolies — The Franchise — Death of Panda — Return 
of Langalibalele — Sir Garnet Wolseley — Railway Extension 
— Cetewayo's Threatening Attitude — Violation of Natal 
Border by Zulus — The Zulu War — Disaster of Isandhlwana 
— Defence of Rorke's Drift — Action of Hlobane — Defeat of 
Zulus at Kambula — Action of Ginginhlovo — Battle of Ulimdi 
— Sir Garnet Wolseley supersedes Lord Chelmsford — Sub- 
division of Zululand — Strife among the Chiefs — Return of 
Cetewayo — Usibepu — Dinizulu succeeds Cetewayo — He calls 
the Boers to his Aid — "The New Republic" — Zululand 
annexed — Railway Extension — Responsible Government 
granted — Fertility of Natal — Menacing Problems .... 238 


(TO 1862) 
Governor Napier — General Depression — Scarcity of Labour — 
Decline of the Wine Industry — Epidemics of Measles and 
Smallpox — ^Taxation — Constitution of Municipalities — Im- 
proved Educational Methods — Dutch Reformed Church 

xiv Contents 

Ordinance — Life of the Colonists — Genesis of Villages — 
Construction of Roads — Governor Sir Peregrine Mait- 
land — Satisfactory Financial Condition — Separation Move- 
ment — Economic Development — Erection of Lighthouses — 
More trouble with the Natives — Treaties with Chiefs — The 
Seventh Kaffir War, or " The War of the Axe " — Military Mis- 
management — Threatened Starvation — Submission of Kaffir 
Chiefs — Governor Sir Henry Potfcinger — Governor Sir Harry 
Smith — Extension of Eastern Boundary — British Kaffraria — 
A Histrionic Function — Imposition of Impossible Conditions 
— Dr. Philip — East London founded — Military Villages laid 
out — The " Anti-Convict " Agitation — A Serious Situation — 
Arrival of the Neptune — Departure of the Convict Ship — A 
Lull on the Frontier — The Governor deceived — The Eighth 
Kaffir War — Disaster at the Boomah Pass — Massacre of the 
Tyume Settlers — The Governor besieged at Fort Cox — ^Re- 
bellion of Hottentots — Attack on Fort Beaufort — Storming 
of Fort Armstrong — Panda offers Assistance — Kreli's Country 
swept — Recall of Sir Harry Smith — -Sir George Cathcart 
Governor — Wreck of the Birkenhead — Mounted Police 
organised — End of the War — Queenstown District founded . 246 


(TO 1861) 
Desire for Representative Institutions — Claims of the Frontier — 
A Draft Constitution — Views of the Secretary of State — 
Constitution granted — 'The First Parliament— Sir George 
Grey — Enlargement of the Supreme Court — Police aug- 
mented — Establishment of Divisional Councils — Changes in 
the Tariff — Movement towards Responsible Government — 
Ravages of Lung-Sickness — The Mail Service — The Museum 
— Copper in Namaqualand — British Kaffraria — Policy 
towards the Natives — European Settlers — Unrest upon 
the Border — Nongqause — Umhlakaza — The Cattle-kiUing — 
Terrible Disillusionment — Famine — Results of the Cattle Kill- 
ing — German Immigrants — Farms in British Kaffraria as- 
signed to Europeans — Administration of the Province — De- 
spatch of Troops to India — Origin of the Cape University — 
Railway Construction — Harbour Works — ■ Lighthouses — 
Arrival of Numerous Immigrants — Depression — Vine-Disease 
— Sir George Grey favours Federation — His Recall causes 
General Regret — His Reinstatement — Weights and Measures 
— Angora Hair — The Secretary of State vetoes Colonial Ex- 
pansion — Sir George Grey transferred to New Zealand — 
His Gift to the South African Library 270 

(TO 1876) 
Governor Wodehouse — His Character — Immigration — Depres- 
sion — British Kaffraria — Movement towards Responsible 
Government — Ostrich Farming — A Census — Agricultural 
Development — The Transkei abandoned — Return of the 

Contents xv 

OoalekM — The Tembus — The Fingos located in Transkei — 
" No Man's Land " — Extension of Natal Boundary — Occupa- 
tion of •' No Man's Land " by Native Clans — Strife amongst 
Natives — The Griqua Country annexed — Annexation of 
Transkeian Territories — Annexation of British Kaffraria to 
Cape Colony — Destructive Tempest at Table Bay — A Period 
of Droughts and Floods — Friction between Governor and 
Parliament — Affairs on the Northern Border — The Governor 
proposes to amend Constitution — Departure of Sir Philip 
Wodehouse — Destructive Forest Fires — Floods — Sir Henry 
Barkly as Governor — Responsible Government once more — 
Federation — Responsible Government introduced — Develop- 
jnent — Lord Carnarvon favours Federation 287 


(TO 1899) 
Native Unrest — The Ninth Kaffir War — Defeat of the Gcalekas — 
Disbandment of Volunteers — War Renewed — The Rebellion 
spreads — " The Peace Preservation Act " — The Basuto War — 
War in Griqualand East — Action of the Amabaca — Sir 
Bartle Frere — Sir Hercules Robinson — The Afrikander 
Bond — Disannexation of Basutoland — Annexation by 
Germany — Complications in Bechuanaland — A Protectorate 
declared — Expedition of Sir Charles Warren — Improved 
Conditions in Basutoland — Vine Disease — Amendment 
of the Franchise Law — The Diamond Fields — Growth 
of Corporations — Cecil John Rhodes — The Mines Amal- 
gamated — Customs Convention — Treaty with Lo Bengula 
— Sir Henry Loch — Bank Failures — The British South 
Africa Company — Rhodesia — The Pioneer Expedition 
— Census — Export of Fruit — War in Rhodesia — "The Glen 
Grey Act" — Ajinexation of Pondoland — The Rinderpest — 
Resignation of Mr. Rhodes — The Matabele Rebellion — Sir 
Alfred Milner 296 

(TO 1910) 
Lord Milner as High Commissioner and Governor of the Con- 
quered Republics — Sir Walter Hely Hutchinson — Death of 
Cecil John Rhodes — His Career — Death of Paul Kruger — 
Mr. Chamberlain visits South Africa — The "Premier" 
Diamond Mine— The Customs Convention — Introduction of 
Chinese Labour — Unsatisfactory Results — A Census — Re- 
sponsible Government granted to the Annexed Republics — 
Native Rebellion in Natal — Commercial Depression — The 
Asiatic Registration Act — Unrest among the Zulus — !Move- 
ment towards Closer Union — Union of Dutch Reformed 
Churches under one Synod — The National Convention — The 
" South African Commonwealth " created — Death of Mr. 
J. H. Hofmeyr— The Constitution — The Racial Bar ... 307 

Appendix 320 

Index 321 



Princo Henry the Navigator, 1394 Frontispiece 

Africa from the Laurentian Portulano, 1351 3 

Map to illustrate the Voyage of Vasco da Gama 6 

Vaso da Gama 8 

The Dutch East India House in Amsterdam 15 

Inscription on a Post Office Stone, now in the Museum, Cape Town 16 

The Blockhouse on the Devil's Peak 17 

Jan van Eiebeek at age about 50. In the Rijksmuseum, 

Amsterdam 19 

The First Fort at Cape Town 27 

Gate of the Old Castle, Cape Town 28 

Extent of Cape Colony, a.d. 1750 46 

Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel's House, Vergelegen 49 

Western Province Farm-house at Groot Constantia 70 

The Wreck of the Young Thomas 72 

The Blockhouse built in Algoa Bay by General Vanderleur in 1799 92 

Debe Nek, where the Battle of Amalinde took place .... 120 

The Settlers going on Shore at Algoa Bay, 1820 125 

The Pyramid, Port Elizabeth 129 

Grahamstown in 1824 132 

Sir Benjamin D'Urban 145 

Cape Town from the Castle, about 1840 151 

Copy of a Calendar kept by the Voortrekkers 155 

Odds Three to One 157 

Trekking over Difficult Country 159 

Dingaan's Kraal 163 

Moshesh 173 

Extent of Cape Colony, end of 1847 175 

Big Game on the Molopo River 195 

ThabaBosigo 199 

The Early Workings, Kimberley 205 

Sir John Brand 207 

Cetewayo 241 

Engagement at the Gwanga 252 

Boomah Pass 264 

Fort Armstrong, Kat River 266 

Sir George Grey 274 

Table Mountain, from Kloof Neck 294 

Wolf River, Amatole Basin 298 

The Right Hon. Cecil J. Rhodes 308 

President Kruger 309 

The Right Hon. Louis Botha 312 

General the Hon. J. C. Smuts 313 

The Right Hon. John X, Merriman 315 

The Hon. Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr 317 

The British Possessions in South Africa 318 

(To 1510) 

Early Exploration and Discovery 

The Last Crusade. It has been well said that the 
discovery of the Cape of Good Hope was an incident 
in the last Crusade. In the fifteenth century the great 
struggle for world-domination l^etween Christian and 
Moslem was at its height. The Saracens had crossed 
the Straits of Gibraltar in 711 a.d. ; soon afterwards 
they overran the greater part of what is now Spain 
and Portugal. In 1346 the Turks entered Europe; 
fifteen years later they captured Adrianople ; in 1458. 
Constantinople fell before the assault of Mahomet II., 
Mud the Byzantine Empire came to an end. 

Decline of the Moslem. — But while the power of the 
Moslem waxed in the east, it waned in the west. In 
1492 Granada, his last sti'onghold in the Iberian 
Peninsula, fell. 

The Eastern Trade. — The Mediterranean was the 
theatre of the great struggle. One important ad- 
vantage enjoyed by the Moslems lay in the riches 
accruing to them through their control of the trade 
between Europe and Asia. All Asiatic merchandise 
reaching Europe was carried from Moslem ports, where 
heavy tolls were levied, by ships belonging to either 
Venice or Genoa. 

Prince Henry of Portugal. — Prince Henry of Portu- 
gal, known as "The Navigator," was born in 1394. His 
father was King John I. of Portugal ; his mother was 
a daughter of John Plantagenet of England, better 
known as John of Gaunt. After serving with grent 
distinction as a soldier in North Africa against the 
Saracens, Prince Henry devoted his energies to building 
ships and fitting out expeditions for the exploitation of 
the west coast of the African continent. It is highly 


2 A History of South Africa 

probable that the main, object he had in view was the 
discovery of a sea-route to the East. Could such be 
found, not alone might the riches of Asia be wrested 
from the enemies of the Cross, but those enemies could 
be attacked in the rear. 

Prince Henry's enthusiasm as a Crusader was sup- 
plemented by a personal desire for vengeance. A 
brother to whom he was much attached had been 
captured by the Saracens, and was languishing in a 
dungeon. The release of the captive had been offered 
on dishonourable terms, but was refused with the 
captive's own concurrence. 

An Ancient African Map. — There was reason to 
believe that a route such as was sought really existed. 
The Prince was deeply learned in the geographical 
lore of the period, and had probably heard of a certain 
map in a Medicean atlas in the Laurentian Library at 
Florence. This map, although quite wrong in detail, 
showed, more or less correctly, the general shape and 
extent of the whole African continent. As to the 
.source of the information from which it was compiled, 
there exists but the merest conjecture. 

Early Ventures down the African Coast.— Farther 
and farther west and south along the unknoAvn African 
coast the respective expeditions felt their way, but 
instead of endeavouring to further their master's lofty 
aims, the different commanders seem to have made the 
collection of slaves and gold their principal object. 
It was their habit to load their ships with these as 
quickly as possible, and then, much to Prince Henry's 
dissatisfaction, to return. Thus, when he died in 1460, 
the vicinity of Sierra Leone was the farthest south his 
vessels had reached. During the last fifteen years of 
Prince Henry's life, but little exploration was under- 
taken, but soon after his death expeditions were again 
organised. The Equator was first crossed by the 
Portuguese in 1471. 

King John II., who ascended the throne of Portugal 
in 1481, was a grand-nephew of the Navigator, and 
inherited the latter' s zeal for geographical discovery. 
In 1484 he despatched a fleet under the command of 
Diego Cam, which reached the mouth of the Congo. 
During the following year Cam reached a spot but a 
few miles north of the site of the present town of 

4 A History of South Africa 

Swakopmiind, in German South- West Africa. There 
he fixed a marble pillar. 

Bartholomew Diaz. — In August, 1486, BartholomeAv 
Diaz, an officer who held the apj^ointment of receiver 
of customs at Lisbon, and who had had some previous 
exploring experience, started from the mouth of the 
Tagus with two ships and a small vessel loaded with 
stores, and made his way southward. The ships were 
stated to be of fifty tons each. Owning, however, to the 
different methods of rating then in force, it is probable 
that they were considerably larger than the figure 
w^ould imply. In addition to the task of endeavouring 
to find the southern extremity of Africa, Diaz Avas 
instructed to try to open up communications Avith 
Prester John, a mythical monarch Avho was believed 
to reign in the centre of the continent. For this 
purpose four negresses, condemned criminals, were 
handed over to him. These unhappy women, after 
being charged with messages, had to be landed, 
separately, at different places on the coast. 

Diaz, after the manner of the time, hugged the 
coast on his southward way. Close to the equator he 
left the store ship with nine men. He next cast anchor 
in a bay which he called Angra Pequena, close to where 
the town of Lllderitzbvicht stands to-day. Thence he 
again sailed south to an inlet which he named Angra 
des Voltas, but Avhich cannot be recognised. From 
here he sailed southward once more, in very heavy 
weather. After thirteen days, and when the Avind had 
moderated, he altered his course eastward, expecting 
to see land. He held this course for several days ; 
then, as no land Avas in sight, he correctly inferred that 
he had passed the southern extremity of the continent, 
so laid his course northAA ard. It was not long before 
he sighted land, and found he Avas approaching a aa ide 
inlet on a coast Avhich sloped steeply, but to no great 
height, almost from the AA^ater's edge. Some distance 
inland, and running parallel to the coast, Avas a chain 
of lofty mountains. OA^er the pasturage by which the 
slopes near the sea AA^ere covered, Avere grazing 
numerous herds of cattle. Diaz named this locality 
Angra dos Vaquerros, or " The Bay of the Herdsmen." 
But the herdsmen were filled with alarm at sight of the 
strangers, and fled inland with their charges. Thus it 

Early Exploration and Discovery 5 

was found ini[)ossible to open communication with 
th€»in. This bay was almost certainly the one which 
afterwards came to be known as the watering-plaee of 
Siu) Bras. But for more than three hundred yeai*8 it 
lias been called Mossel Bay. 

Diaz sailed eastward from the Bay of the Herds- 
men until he reached wliat is called Algoa Bay. 
Here, on a small rocky island, he caused to be erected 
a pillar bearing the Cross and the Arms of Portugal. 
This island is known to-day as St. Croix. A landing 
was also effected upon the mainland in the vicinity. 
Here the last of the four negresses was set ashore and 
left to her fate. One had died on the voyage ; the 
other two had been put on shore at separate plaees on 
the barren south-western coast, where they no doubt 
died of thirst. 

The Stormy Cape. — The men of all ranks under 
Diaz' conmiand strongly objected to going any further. 
They had been battered by tempests ; their health had 
suffered badly from close confinement and bad food. 
The stores were almost exhausted, and the voyagers 
were awed by terror of the unknown seas lying 
eastward. However, they allowed themselves to be 
persuaded into continuing the voyage for a few days. 
The mouth of a large river was thus reached. This 
was probably the Great Fish River, but it cannot be 
itlentified with certainty. But Diaz had now ample 
proof that he had passed the southern extremity of 
the continent, for he found a current of w^arm water 
flowing in a south-westerly direction. From here the 
prows of tlie battered ships were turned homeward. 
Diaz arrived at Lisbon in December, 1487, after an 
absence of over sixteen months. It was only on his 
return journey that what is now known as the Cape 
Ten insula was discovered. To its southern extremity 
lie gave the name of "The Stormy Cape"— a name 
changed by the King of Portugal to "The Cape of 
Good Hope " — for the great problem had now been 
solved India could be reached by the Atlantic route. 

John Pedro of Cavilhao.— Shortly after the dis- 
covery of the Cape of (iood Hope, one John Pedro of 
Cavilliao, who liatl been secretly despatched in dis- 
guise to India, managed to reach Calicut, and frtmi 
there to cross the Indian Ocean and visit Mozambi(iue 

Early Exploration and Discovery 7 

and Sofala. Thus lit' was enabled to find out a ^reat 
(leal as to the flourishing trade carried on between 
the ports of fCastern Afriea and those of Asia. Pedro 
never returned to EuroiK?. Seeking for Prester .John, 
he entered Abyssinia, where he took up his residence, 
and, having been ennobled by the Negus, there spent 
the remainder of his life. He wrote a letter to the 
king, detailing his discoveries. The letter, which was 
in duplicate, was forwarded to Portugal by the,.hands 
of two Jewish Rabbis. There is, how^ever, nothing to 
show that it ever reached its destination. 

Yasco da Gama.— Thus Diaz from the west and Pedro 
from the east had almost met, for a stretch of only 
about a thousand miles separates the mouth of the 
Great Fish River from Sofala. But it was over ten 
years before the gap was filled. In 1497 a small fleet 
was fitted out for the purpose of attempting definitely 
to reach India by the Cape route. It consisted of four 
ships, two of Avhicli w^ere built under the personal 
supervision of Diaz. These ships were, respectively, 
about double the size of the ones with which Diaz 
himself had sailed. The command of the expedition 
was entrusted to Vasco da Gama, a son of the chief 
magistrate of the little town of Sinis. Da Gama was 
an heroic figure ; in him were epitomised to a great 
extent the virtues as well as the vices of his race and 
of the age he lived in. Brave, energetic, and filled 
with a keen sense of duty towards his king, he was 
at the same time unsciiipulous, harsh, stern, and easily 
moved to anger. When enraged he was, as his sub- 
sequent career proved, capable of the most fiendish 
cruelty. When selected for the command he was 
thirty-seven years of age. 

Da Gama's fleet started from Lisbon on July 8, 
and reached a bay on the coast of what is now^ the 
district of Piquetburg, Cape Province, on November 4. 
This bay he named after St. Helena, and the name 
has been retained. After a delay of twelve days he 
again started. Two days later he sighted the Cape 
of Good Hope, but made no attempt to effect a 
lauding. On November 26 the little fleet cast anchor 
in what is now Mossel Bay. Here the Portuguese 
oi3ened friendly communication with the Natives, ob- 
taining frt)m them, by means of barter, sheep and ivory 

8 A History of South Africa 

arm-rings. This friendliness was, however, interrupted, 
but it does not appear that any blood was shed. 











Wmf f 9 ^^F^l 










^ • Porh.tif lu thf Av.c.>f/ 

"/ <'f 

ii'. i 

Discovery of Natal.— The store-ship, being no 
longer needed, was burnt, and the fleet started 

Early Exploration and Discovery 9 

♦'astwaiH. After some very lieavy weather Da Gama 
iomid hiinsi'lf dose to tlie Bii*cl Islands, in the vicinity 
of Al^^oa liay. From there light and variable winds 
uaftiMl the voyagers past the mouth of the river 
which marked the farthest iK)int reached l^y Diaz; 
tlicnce a strong current carried them back to Algoa Bay. 
I^Yom here they started with a favourable wind on 
December 20. As the vessels passed eastward all 
on Ijoard were struck by the attractive appearance 
of the country, the fertility of which was in strong 
contrast to the barren western coast, with its inter- 
minable wastes of sand. On Christmas Day Da Gama 
gave the name of Natal to the country then in sight. 

From here the ships stood out to sea, and land was 
not again seen until January 0, 1498, when the mouth 
of a large river was observed. This river was the 
one we call the Limpopo. Here the Portuguese for 
the first time came into contact with the southern 
Bantu Natives. These were found to be quite friendly 
and disposed to trade. 

Attack on Mozambique. — The mouth of the Quili- 
niane River was the next anchorage. Here the ships 
were caulked and refitted. While this was in progress 
scurvy in a severe form broke out among the crew, 
many of whom died. After weighing anchor once 
more the fleet again sailed north. It unknowingly 
passed Sofala and reached the island of Mozambique. 
Here the Moliammedans were found established. The 
Governor Zakoeja and his people were at first friendly, 
believing tlie strangers to be Turks, but when they 
found themselves to have been mistaken on this iK)int 
the demeanour of the people changed and hostilities 
ensued. Da Gama attacked the islanders Avith vigour 
and inflicted so much damage that the Governor sued 
for peace, which was gianted. Mombasa was the next 
j)oit visited ; then Melinda. At each were found 
am[)le evidences of a flourishing trade with Asia. On 
May 1(J the coast of India was sighted. Thus success 
had crowned the long endeavour. 

On his homeward voyage Da Gama lost one of his 
vessels through its striking a shoal, but the officers and 
crew were transferred to the two i*emaining. He 
touched at various places he had visited on the out- 
ward voyage and passed the Cape of Good Hope on 

lo A History of South Africa 

March 20. The two vessels parted in a storm, and 
one, the Berrio, reached Lisbon two years and two days 
after she had sailed on her outward voyage. Da Gama's 
own ship, the Sao Gabriel, was left at the island of 
Santiago for repairs. Da Gama finishing his voyage in a 
hired vessel, in which he reached home on August 29. 
Of the hundred and seventy persons who sailed with 
him only fifty-five returned. 

Expedition of Pedro Alvarez Cabral.— The next 
fleet sent out with the eastern coast of Africa as its 
objective was that of Pedro Alvarez Cabral, who 
started in 1500 with thirteen ships. The main purpose 
of the expedition was the establishment of a factory, 
or trading station at Sofala. Cabral was instructed to 
offer peace and friendship to all he met on condition 
that they became Christians and consented to trade, 
but in case of a refusal, war was to be at once declared. 
In this fleet Bartholomew Diaz held a minor command. 
As something of the nature of the trade-winds was 
now beginning to be understood, Cabral shaped his 
course far to the westward, and, in so doing, incidentally 
discovered South America. Three weeks after he had 
set sail from what is now the coast of Brazil, a violent 
tornado was encountered. In this four vessels foundered 
with all hands, one being that commanded by Bartholo- 
mew Diaz. 

Da Gama's Second Expedition. — In February, 1502, 
Da Gama, who now bore the title " Admiral of the 
Eastern Seas," started on his second voyage for India. 
From this period onward many expeditions were 
despatched round the Cape of Good Hope, for the route 
to India was now open and the resulting trade was 
found to be highly profitable. Soon the Mohammedans 
were dispossessed of all their trading stations on the 
East African coast. However, as a rule the fleets kept 
well to the south, for the reason that the vicinity of 
the Cape was much dreaded by mariners on account 
of the tempestuous weather which was believed to 
lorevail there almost continually. 

Antonio da Saldanha lands at Table Bay.— In 1503 
one Antonio da Saldanha landed at what is now known 
as Table Bay and called it Saldanha Bay, after himself. 
Thus it was known until 1601, Avhen a Dutch captain 
substituted its present name. The name Saldanha was 

(To 1602) 

First Colonisation 

Wreck of the '*Sao Joao." — Tliere are but few events 
to record in respect of the Cape of Goocl Hope or its 
hinterhind during the sixteenth century. As the fleets 
or single vessels passed to and fro in pursuance of 
trade or ^^•arfare on the East African or Asiatic coasts, 
( )ccasional wrecks took place. Among the more notable 
of these may be mentioned that of the Sao JoaOy a 
large galleon which ran ashore close to the mouth of 
the Umzimvubu River in 1552 — an event celebrated by 
Camoens in the " Lusiad." 

Sir Francis Drake doubles the Cape.— In 1580 Sir 
Francis Drake doubled the Cajje in the Golden Hhid, 
and described it as " the most stately thing and fairest 
cape we saw in the whole circumference of the world." 

The First English Fleet visits Table Bay.— In 1591 
the first English fleet bound for the Indies visited 
Table Bay. It was composed of three vessels under 
Admiral Raymond. One of the vessels, the Edward 
BonareyiturCy had taken part in the defeat of the 
Spanish Armada ; it was commanded by Captain James 
Lancaster, who afterwards rose to fame as an Arctic 
explorer. Four days after leaving the Cape, the Ad- 
miraFs ship foundered with all hands. Captain Lan- 
ctister visited the Cape again in 1601. He was then in 
charge of the first fleet sent to the East Indies by the 
English Eiast India Company, which had been estab- 
lished a little more than a year previously. 

The First Dutch Fleet for India.— It was in 1595 
ilia I tilt' lirst Dutch ships visited South Africa. Four 
\ t --els from the Texel, under the c-ommand of an 
oflicer named Cornelius Houtman, passed within sight 

14 A History of South Africa 

of Table Mountain and cast anchor in what is now 
Mossel Bay. 

The opening of a sea-route to India was an event 
of the first importance in the history of world-develop- 
ment. One of its principal results was that Moham- 
medanism, deprived of a monopoly which was its chief 
source of wealth, receded before the renewed strength 
of the Christian nations. Another result was that 
Venice lost her commerce, and with it her jjower. 
The Asiatic trade was transferred to Portugal, which 
became wealthy and strong. 

Death of King Sebastian of Portugal.— Portugal 
retained her Avealth and prosperity until 1578, Avhen 
she met with a great misfortune. King Sebastian led 
a large army to North Africa. This army was totally 
defeated in a battle at Alcazar. The king was slain. 

Spain seizes Portugal, — Two years later King 
Philip II. of Spain took possession of Portugal. One 
of his first acts thereafter was to seize all the Dutch 
vessels in Lisbon Harbour. 

Origin of the Dutch East India Company. — An im- 
portant result of this was the formation in Holland of 
the " Company for Remote Countries." This Company, 
with several similar ones, eventually merged into the 
Dutch East India Company, which harried the Por- 
tuguese from the southern and eastern seas and, as 
an incident in the pursuance of its policy of oversea 
exi^ansion, established the first settlement of Euro- 
peans in South Africa. This Company rapidly grew in 
wealth, power, and world-importance. Within com- 
paratively few years a preponderating share of extra- 
European trade was in its hands. 

Its Constitution. — The Dutch East India Company 
w^as a national concern ; at one time it Avas probably 
more powerful than the State itself. The supreme 
governing authority lay in the hands of a board which 
Avas termed the Chamber of Seventeen, to which the 
State nominated one. The foreign possessions of the 
Company, which were vast, rich, and widely scattered, 
Avere controlled by a Council of which the Governor- 
General of India Avas President, and AA'hich met at 
Batavia, in the Island of Java. 

Table Bay becomes a Place of Call. — Gradually the 
dread AA^hich had for so long clustered around the Cape 

First Colonisation 

and Table Mountain was dissipated. MariiK*rs found 
that except at certain seasons the weathei- prevailing 
there was not worse than that exiKjrienced on other 
coasts. Table Bay proved a convenient place of call; 
a short sojourn there made a delightful break in the 
long voyage to or from the Indies. The Natives were 
not unfriendly; sometimes they could be induced to 
barter cattle and fat-tailed sheep for knives, beads, 
(»!• other wares. 

The Ocean Post Office.— TIh' captMins of outward- 

v)osTi>rT)i6 Hv Y s 


bound vessels Avould deix)sit letters under a stone and 
carve on the latter in rough script, "Hereunder look 
for lettei-s." Such documents would be unearthed by 
the captain of some vessel homeward bound, a\ ho, in 
his turn, would dei3osit papers reporting his arrival at 
the end of the first stage of his voyage, for transmission 
to Batavia or Ceylon. Several of these stones have 
been discovered in the foundations of old buildings, — 
each bearing a date as well as the name of a ship anci 
lier captain. One has been built into the wall at 

i6 A History of South Africa 

the main entrance of the General Post Office, Cape 


An English Commodore annexes Table Bay.— In 
June, 1620, four English ships bound for Surat, under 
the command of Captain Andrew Shillinge, entered 
Table Bay. Soon afterwards they were joined by two 
others, under the command of Commodore Humphrey 
Fitzherbert, which Avere bound for Bantam. At the 
time nine large Dutch vessels were in th^ Bay ; also 
another English vessel called the Lion. The Dutch 
fleet departed for the Indies, but about the same time 
another Dutch vessel, the Schiedam^ arrived. The 
English Commodore had heard from some of the Dutch 
officers that the Dutch East India Company intended 
establishing a settlement on the shores of Table Bay 
during the following year, so he called his officers 
together as a council. As a result of the deliberations 
of this body it was decided to annex Table Bay in the 
name of the King of England. Accordingly, on July 3 
the English flag ^vas hoisted on the Lion's Rump in 
the presence of a number of men who had been landed 
from the ships. The captain and officers of the Schiedam 
were also present, but made no objection. However, 
the annexation Avas confirmed neither by the English 

Kast India Company imi 

First Colonisation 17 

ili<- (ioveniment of King 

j^^^^R^^ .._ 





^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ t i ' ' 



'T - 

J'hoto: T. D. Ravtusrroft.] 


Wreck of the *' Haarlem."— In 1648 the Haarlem, 
a laiKt' vessel lielongiii^' to the Dutch Company, was 
driven ashore ou the Blatuiwberg side of Table Bay. 


1 8 A History of South Africa 

No lives Avere lost ; the greater portion of the cargo 
was saved. The officers, crew, and soldiers removed 
to Table Valley, where they encamped close to a stream 
of water ; the site of the encampment is believed to be 
near the centre of the present city of Cape Town. 
Some ground was brought under cultivation, and in 
it were sowed vegetable seeds salved from the Avreck. 
The* result was most satisfactory ; the casta Avays were 
even able to supply passing scurvy-smitten ships Avith 
much-needed vegetables. When, after upAvards of five 
months, the men of the Haarlem Avere released and 
conveyed to Holland, they gave a most gloAving account 
of the fertility of Table Valley. 

The Dutch East India Company decides to occupy 
Table Bay. — After some tAAcnty months of inquiry 
and consideration, the Directory of the Company 
decided to establish a victualling station at the Cape 
of Good Hope. Accordingly, instructions toAvards 
the fitting out of an expedition Avere issued on March 
25, 1651. The vessels commissioned AA^ere the Drorne- 
darisy a man-of-war Avitli high poop and bows, the 
Reiger, and a small yacht named the Goede Hoop. The 
command Avas offered to, but declined by, one Nicholas 

Jan van Biebeek. — Jan van Riebeek, a ship's surgeon, 
accepted the post. He had traA^elled considerably, and 
Avas a man of great energy and good ability. 

The expedition started from Amsterdam on Decem- 
ber 24, 1651. The Dromedaris carried eighteen heavy 
guns ; shortly after putting to sea, she Avas found to be 
so top-heavy that nine of these had to be sent below 
as ballast. The men composing the expedition num- 
bered about one hundred. There Avere five Avomen, 
one of Avhom AA'as van Riebeek' s Avife. Two, Elizabeth 
and Sebastiana van Opdorp, aa ere his nieces. 

ArriYal of the Expedition. — The Aveather experienced 
by the Aoyagers Avas Aery favourable. On April 5, 
1652, Table Mountain AA^as sighted ; next evening the 
little fleet reached the anchorage in Table Bay. The 
winter rains had not yet fallen, so the country pre- 
sented a very parched appearance. 

Building of the Fort. — Immediately after landing, a 
site for a fort aa^s fixed upon. This AA^as close behind 
Avliere the General Post Office stands to-day. The 

First Colonisation 19 

(ou.sLiuclioii work was begun without ilila> . The fort 
was square, each face measuring 78 mclics. It was 

JAN VAN KIEI'.r,! K \T \(,!: \i;orT 50. IN THE i;!:i - ■ -KCM, 

built of earth and had sloping sides; at eavXx of it« 

20 A History of South Africa 

angles was a bastion. In the centre arose a stone 
toAver with a fiat roof, from Avhicli every portion of 
the rampart was under matchlock fire. The whole 
structure was surrounded by a moat, which was filled 
with water from the stream which ran down Table 
Valley. The governing body of the Settlement was 
termed the Council of Policy. It consisted of the Com- 
mander and three or four subordinate officers appointed 
by a Commissioner passing to, or returning from, India. 

Immediately after their arrival the new-comers 
came in contact with some of the Natives. Among the 
latter was one named Harry, who had voyaged to 
India and back in an English ship, and consequently 
had some slight knoAvledge of the English tongue. 
Harry Avas employed by the Commander as an inter- 
preter. A relation of his, a young girl named Eva, was 
taken into the van Riebeek household. 
v./" The Beachrangers. — The Hottentot clan to which 
Harry and Eva belonged numbered only about sixty 
individuals. These peoi:>le owned no stock and were in 
a wretched condition. They became known as the 
" Strandloopers," or Beachrangers. However, further 
inland were other clans — nomads — comparatively rich 
in cattle and fat-tailed sheep. At certain seasons, 
when the pasturage was rich, these people moved in 
toAvards Table Mountain, and it was fovmd possible to 
purchase cattle and sheep from them, the currency 
used being tobacco, copper bars, brass Avire, and beads. 

Wild Animals.— At that time the Cape Peninsula 
sAvarmed Avith aa ild animals ; large antelopes of various 
kinds grazed over Avhat are noAv knoAA n as the Cape 
Flats. Official huntsmen wei'e appointed for the 
purpose of supplying the fort Avith venison, but the 
game AA^as too Avary to permit of its being brought 
down by the awkward, short-ranged matchlock of the 
period. Where Church Square is to-day lay a swamp 
which Avas frequented by sea-coAA^s. Lions often ap- 
peared in the vicinity of the fort. The Commander 
came face to face Avith one on an occasion when he was 
inspecting his garden. Leopards and wild cats made 
continual attacks upon poultry and domestic animals. 
Table Bay SAvarmed Avith fish of many kinds ; Avhales 
AA'cre especially plentiful. 

Hardships of the Settlers. — The settlers suffered 

First Colonisation 21 

many hardships. Floods washed away a lot of the 
ground they had prepai*ed for cultivation^ The high 
winds of summer destroyed the i)r()mised harvest of 
wheat and barley when it was almost ripe for the 
sickle. The Hottentots murdered herdsmen and carried 
off cattle. These outrages could not be revenged, as 
the Commander's hands were tied by stringent orders 
from Holland to the effect that a strictly conciliatory 
policy Avas to be i)ursued towards the Natives. 

One great difficulty arose from the inferiority of 
many of those composing the expedition. During the 
first few years of the settlement, a number of men had 
to be discharged and sent home. Van Riebeek kept a 
journal in which every event of the slightest imix)rt- 
ance was recorded ; in reading this one realises the 
extraordinary hardships suffered by all belonging to 
this distant outpost of civilisation. 

The First Farmers.— It was in February, 1657, that 
the first step in actual colonisation took place. In 
response to a memorial nine men were permitted to 
leave the Company's service and take up plots of land 
along the course of the Liesbeek River, in the vicinity 
«»t' Rondebosch. It had been noticed that this locality 
was largely protected from the winds which scourged 
the plains and mountain slopes in the vicinity of the 
fort. Soon afterwards similar grants of land were 
made to other applicants. 

Introduction of Slaves. — There were at this time ^ 
only eleven slaves in the settlement, but during the 
following year a large number were introduced from 
the west coast of Africa, and sold on credit to the 
burghers at prices ranging from £4 to £8 each. Soon 
the tendency grew t<:) leave the harder and more un- 
pleasant kinds of work to slaves. 

Belief in Monomotapa. — Van Riebeek was a finn '^ 
l)eliever in the fabled empire of Monomotapa, and 
eagerly read Linschoten's celebrated book and other 
supposed authorities on the subject. He also closely 
(|uestioned the Hottentots as to their knowledge of 
t lie regions lying to the north. After collating all he 
had learnt, the Connnander came to the conclusion that 
Davagul, the mythical capital, lay s<mie 828 miles to 
the north-east, or about where Pretoria stands to- 


2 2 A History of South Africa 

Exploring Expeditions.— Various exploring expedi- 
tions were undertaken. On October 19, 1657, a party 
consisting of fifteen Europeans and four Hottentots 
started under the command of Abraham Gabbema, Fiscal 
and Secretary to the Council. Pack oxen were used to 
carry provisions and merchandise. This party took a 
route past the well-known hill called Klapmuts, so 
called even then on account of its supposed resemblance 
to a flat nightcap. They reached the Berg River, 
which was found to be full of sea-cows, and entered a 
valley, on the right-hand side of which stood a moun- 
tain crowned with two immense shining granite domes, 
which they named respectively " Paarl " and " Dia- 
mant." Herds of zebra grazed over the valley pastures 
and rhinoceroses hurtled through the thickets. They 
saw but few Hottentots, and these were not inclined 
to trade. 

In February of the following year Sergeant Jan 
van Harwarden passed with an exploring party to 
the westward of the Paarl Mountain and reached the 
gorge where the Little Berg River breaks through the 
mountain rampart, and through which the railway to 
the north runs to-day. They climbed a mountain from 
the summit of which they could gaze north into the 
Tulbagh Basin, and south-east doAvn the valley of the 
Breede River. It being the summer season the land 
looked parched and uninviting. Two of the party 
died of dysentery. A lion sprang upon another and 
injured him so badly that he lost his right arm. But 
the Sergeant bravely placed the muzzle of his match- 
lock close to the marauder's head and shot it dead. 

Culture of the Vine. — The culture of the vine was 
extended, and maize was introduced from the coast of 
Guinea. Van Riebeek set out 1200 vine cuttings on a 
piece of land called Wynberg, near the source of the 
Liesbeek. The first wine was made by the Commander 
himself in 1659. 

Each burgher was required, under penalty of a fine, 
to possess a gun. What might be termed the first 
germ of representative government was sown in 1659, 
when the burghers were permitted to nominate four 
men as burgher councillors. From the four, the Council 
of Policy selected one. 
\^ Trouble with the Hottentots.— Trouble Avith the 

First Colonisation 23 

Hottentots arose from time t<> time. Cattle were 
stolen, and when slaves ran away it was suspected 
that the Hottentots harboured them. But the Hot* 
tentots, naturally enraged at seeing their best pasture 
lands appropriated by the Europeans, became actively 
liostile in 1(359. There was no actual fighting, but the 
natives drove off the farmers' cattle and destroyed 
crops. In a few instances they killed herdsmen who 
endeavoured to protect the animals under their charge. 
Tint horses and fierce dogs were imported, soldiers were 
landed, and houses were placed in such a condition as 
rendered them capable of being defended. Eventually 
watch-houses were built in a line and connected by a 
strong thorn fence. 

A Plot among the Garrison.— While the settlement 
was in the throes of this trouble, a serious plot was 
discovered among the members of the garrison, four- 
teen of whom had determined to seize a vessel in the 
bay and escape. Fifteen slaves had agreed to join in 
the enterprise. The conspiracy was discovered by the 
surgeon, who was a Scotsman. Five of the conspiratoi-s 
were Scotch, and one was an Englishman. The ring- 
leaders were sent to Batavia for punishment ; the less 
important culprits were tried on the spot and punished 
with what would to-day be regarded as terrible severity. 
One result of this affair was the deportation of all 
English and Scotch members of the garrison (with the 
exception of the doctor) to Batavia, " so as to rid the 
place of such rubbish," as the entry on the subject 

In April a meeting of the various Hottentot captains 
took x)lace at the fort. A peace was arranged. After- 
wards a dance and a feast were held. A feature of the 
latter was a large tub fille<l with a mixture of arrack 
and brandy. After partaking of this the captains and 
their followers got so intoxicated that they all had to 
be carried out of the fort. 

In May, 1(500, a French ship called the Marichal 
^^as wrecked in Table Bay. The captain and forty- 
four of the crew were Huguenots. Of these, thirty- 
five entered the service of the Company, thus 
forming an important reinforcement to the Cape 

Further Exploration.— In November, 1(560, another 

24 A History of South Africa 

exploring expedition was fitted out, this time with 
the express intention of discovering Monomotapa. On 
the way, but somewhat to the westward of the direct 
route to the supposed city of Davagul, was believed to 
be another city named Cortado, and this the explorers 
intended to visit in the first instance. The party, 
fourteen in number, were volunteers ; their leader was 
one Jan Danckert. 

The explorers took a northward course, along the 
coast belt. They reached a river, on the banks of 
which a herd of several hundred elephants was seen. 
This river they named the Olifant, which name it still 
bears. Here a halt was made. The leader and a few 
of his men pushed on for a short distance farther. One 
day they saw smoke arising far ahead. They were 
informed by Bushmen that this was from fires lit by 
Namaqua hunters. The expedition returned without 
having made any discovery of importance. 

Almost immediately another exploring party started, 
following the same route. This party came in contact 
with a large encampment of Namaquas in the vicinity 
of the Olifant River, and were by them hospitably 
entertained. The Namaquas were described as being 
taller than the other Hottentots, and as being well 
clothed in karosses made from the skins of various 
wild animals. They Avere armed with bows and arrows, 
with assegais, and with knobbed clubs. They also 
carried shields so large that a man could be completely 
hidden behind one. 

Yan Riebeek transferred to Batavia. — In 1662 van 
Riebeek was transferred at his own request from the 
Cape to Batavia. He had held the reins of government 
for ten years and two months. At Batavia he was 
appointed a member of the High Court of Justice, and 
Commander of Malacca. Subsequently he became 
secretary to the Council at Batavia, holding that 
appointment until he died in 1677, at the age of 
fifty-eight. His tombstone, or the remaining fragments 
thereof, have recently been transferred to the Cape. 

His Character. — Jan van Riebeek, although some- 
what tyrannical and irascible, Avas a man of great 
force of character. He was a most faithful servant 
of the Company, but was somewhat unscrupulous in 
his dealings with people not connected therewith. He 

First Colonisation 25 

had little heHitatioii in breaking his word or making 
pioniises which he ha<i no intention of keeping. He 
l)<)re the nickname of " Little Thorn back." 

He had to contend with many difficulties, not the 
N'Mst of which was the want of faith in the value of 
the new settlement evinced by the Supreme Council 
in Holland. As a matter of fact, the Council was quite 
averse to the i)olicy of expansion which the Com- 
mander's sanguine temperament prompted him to 
pursue. As an instance of Van Riebeek's foresight it 
may be mentioned that a memorandum he left for 
guidance of his successor contains a suggestion to the 
effect that wild ostriches should be domesticated. 
Ostrich feathers were at the time in great demand in 
the Indies. It was upwards of two centuries before 
this suggestion was acted uix)n. 

(To 1679) 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 

Mr. Gerrit van Harn was nominated as successor to 
van Riebeek, but he died on the voyage to the Cape, 
so Mr. Zacharias Wagenaar was appointed by the 
Council of India in his stead. The new Commander 
arrived in Table Bay on April 2, 1662, but did not 
take up his appointment for more than a month after- 
wards. He was an elderly man of mediocre ability 
and impassive mien. A long sojourn in the Indies had 
weakened his health. Physically and mentally Mr. 
Wagenaar was as complete a contrast to his prede- 
cessor as it is possible to imagine. One of the principal 
features of his term of office was the number of 
exploring expeditions which were undertaken. In 
1663 a large reservoir was built close to the fort for 
the convenience of passing ships. 

In 1665 the first resident clergyman was appointed 
to the Cape ; this was the Rev. Johan van Arckel. 
At the same time an ecclesiastical court was estab- 
lished. This consisted of the clergyman, a member of 
the Council of Policy — who was styled " political com- 
missioner " — deacons and elders. Mr. van Arckel, Avho 
appears to have been a model of all that a minister of 
the Gospel should be, died on January 12, 1666. His 
body lies buried within the walls of the Castle. 

Religious Controversy.— About this time a keen 
controversy was proceeding within the Dutch Re- 
formed Church in the Indies as to whether or not the 
children of non-Christian parents should be baptised. 
The question arose at the Cape. The ecclesiastical 
court at Batavia and the judicatory of the Church at 
Amsterdam decided that such children should be 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 27 

baptised. This decision was only given effect to after 
considerable oi)i)osition. 

The First School. — The school opened for the use 
of slaves in l(i58 was closed after a few weeks. In the 
latter part of 1003 another school — the first in South 
Afjica for European children — was opened. Ernestus 
Back, the sick comforter, was the master, but he took 
to drink, and as a comet which appeared was regarded 
as a sign of the wrath of heaven at his misconduct, he 
was hurriedly sent to Batavia in a yacht. A soldier 
named Daniel Eugelgraeff took his place. The school 
was a mixed one. It began with seventeen pupils, 
twelve of whom were Europeans. 

War between England and Holland.— War had 
again broken out between England and Holland in 
1004, so the Cape, which commanded the ocean high- 
way to India, at once became of importance. Its 
defenceless condition Avas realised. The Fort was built 
of earth, and the guns thereon mounted were not 
capable of hurling shot even as far as the anchorage. 


] \ n 



J7 /\ ^^/^- 

K^,j ' — '■ ^^nnr 


^ tt 1^ 


Building of the Castle commenced.— It was accord- 
ingly decided to erect a strong stone fortress capable 
of accommodating a garrison, and to arm it with heavy 
artillery. The site was selected by Connnissioner 
Isbrancl Goske. Three hundred soldiers were landed 


A History of South Africa 

from passing ships and set to work quarrying stone. 
Convicts and slaves were sent to Robben Island to 
gather shells for lime. On January 2, 166tt, four 
foundation stones of " one of the western land points " 
were laid, respectively, by the Commander and three 
of his subordinates. A great feast Avas held in honoiir 
of ,tlie occasion, and a poem composed by an amateur 

riwto: T. D. liarehscrf'ft.] 


was recited and afterwards inscribed in the Com- 
mander's diary. 

Commander Wagenaar tendered his resignation, so 
on September 27 he was relieved by Mr. Cornelius 
van Qualenberg. The latter had arrived by a shii3 
which lost by sickness one hundred and ten men on 
the voyage. When this ship arrived in Table Bay 
assistance had to be sent to her from the shore, for 
every one on board was ill, and the crew were unable 
to drop the anchor or furl the sails. 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 29 

Arrival of a French Fleet. — Some three montlis 
artiTwai'ds a h'rciicli lle«;t of twelve vessels arrived at 
Table Bay. The fitting out of this fleet had caused the 
greatest uneasiness to the Company, for it was known 
that France intended opening up trade with the East. 
Owing to lack of provisions and equipment the French 
\\ ere in great distress. The Commander ])laced all his 
-lores at their disposal, thus practically exhausting the 
resources of the settlement. The French Admiral had 
been instructed to take possession of Saldanha Bay, 
which he surveyed. He set up landmarks bearing the 
I'^i'ench arms, but established no settlement. The 
Council of Seventeen, naturally indignant at the assist- 
ance which had been afforded to the rival fleet, passed 
a resolution dismissing Commander van Qualenberg. 
He Avas regretted by none ; his selfishness, arrogance, 
greed, and tyranny had made him generally disliked. 

Mr. Jacob Borghorst, the next Commander, arrived 
at the Cape on June 16, 1668. He suffered from extreme 
ill-health, so the administration of the settlement was 
mostly carried on by his subordinates. In the August 
following the new Commander's arrival a yacht was 
dispatched on an exploring voyage along the coast 
eastward. At Mossel Bay Corjjoral Cruse and a small 
body of men were put ashore. They came in contact 
with the Atttiqua tribe of Hottentots, who occupied 
wiiat is now the district of George, and with them 
carried on an extremely profitable barter. CoriK)ral 
Ciuse arrived at the Fort with several hundred head 
of stock. The voyage of the yacht was barren of other 

In 1670 Commissioner Mattheus van der Broeck, 
who was acting as Admiral in command of the fleet 
liomeward bound from the Indies, visited Table Bay 
and instituted an inquiry into the condition of the 
settlement. It is interesting to note that even then 
the drink traffic was mischievous. The Commissioner 
<()nsidered that the number of liquor shops existing 
(onstituted a great evil, and reduced the number to 
nine. He also raised the price of grain with the view 
of encouraging more freemen to undertake agriculture. 

Connnander Borghorst soon i-esigned his office on 
account of ill-health. His successor was Mr. Pieter 
Ilackius, another invalid. He reached the Cape in 

30 A History of South Africa 

March, 1670, but died in November of the following 

Trouble from Beasts of Prey.— At this period, 
owing, probably, to the grow ing scarcity of antelopes, 
beasts of prey became a serious trouble to the settlers. 
Lions, leopards, and hyaenas did so much damage to 
stock that strenuous efforts towards their extermina- 
tion had to be undertaken. Hyaenas became so bold 
that they even plundered the graveyards. For lions 
killed between Table Mountain and the Tygerberg a 
reward equal to £6 5s. Avas offered. 

Arrival of Emigrants from Dusseldorf.— In 1671 
some families of agriculturists from Meurs, in the 
Rhine Valley below Dusseldorf, were sent to the Cape. 
The individuals numbered sixty-one. From these several 
of the foremost Dutch South African families are 

After the death of Commander Hackius the govern- 
ment of the Settlement was carried on for a time by 
the Council of Policy. As hostilities between Holland 
and France were expected shortly to break out, 
instructions were issued to the effect that the con- 
struction of the Castle Avas to be accelerated. Mr. 
Isbrand Goske was nominated for the command of the 
Settlement and, on account of his high rank, was 
styled Governor. 
^ Purchase of Territory from the Hottentots. — In 
March, 1672, arrived Mr. Arnout van Overbeke, Admiral 
of a homeward-bound fleet. After an investigation he 
decided to purchase the land surrounding the Settle- 
ment from the two Hottentot chiefs who claimed it. 
Accordingly, two treaties Avere draw^n up. In terms 
of one, the land between Hout and Saldanha Bays Avas 
purchased for merchandise to the value of £800 ; 
according to the other, Hottentot's Holland and the 
land adjacent to False Bay w^ere pvirchased for a like 
price. But in despatches on the subject sent to 
Holland, the value of the goods delivered Avas given as 
£9 12s. %d. 

European Coalition against the Netherlands. — 
When Governor Goske assumed the duties of his office, 
Holland Avas in the throes of a desperate struggle 
against a coalition formed by England, France, and two 
of the minor German poAAers. At the commencement 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 31 

M consideiable portion of the Xetherlands was over- 
run. Hut the l*er[)etual Edict was rei)ea1ed, and 
WilHani of Orange, who afterwards l)eeanie King of 
EiiKland, was appointed Stadtholder. Soon the tide 
turned, and by the latter part of K374 peace had been 
renewed with England and the l)ut<5h had recovered 
nearly all their territory. During these troublous 
times strenuous efforts towards hastening the com- 
I )letion of the Castle at the Cape Avere made. Several 
luuidred men were landed from passing vessels and set 
to work. But passing ships were now few, for the 
t lade with India had fallen off considerably, and the 
Cape suffered in consequence. 

During 1678 trouble arose with a Hottentot chief 
called Gonnema, Avho had a considerable following. 
Hunting parties were robbed ; in some instances their 
members being killed. Isolated posts were attacked. 
In this desultory warfare the Europeans were assisted 
by various minor Hottentot clans. 

The European ijopulation of the Settlement at this 
time numbered about six hundred. The care of orphaned 
children was placed in the hands of the deacons of the 
church, who, for the maintenance of such, had a fund 
of over £1000 at their disposal. An orphan chamber 
for the purpose of protecting the rights of childi'en 
who had lost a parent and whose surviving parent 
desired to re-marry, was now established, and it was 
enacted that no such parent could re-marry until the 
lights of minor heirs had been secured. This law, 
modified in certain respects, is still in force. In cases 
of intestacy, or where no guardians had been nominated 
under a will, the Orphan Chamber was constituted 
guardian. . 

After peace had been made with England, the 
Netherlands no longer considered the Cape Settlement 
of such paramount importance, for they ceased to fear 
interference with the Indian trade. Consequently 
Governor Goske was recalled and a junior officer, 
Mr. Johan Bax van Herenthals, was appointeti in his 
place. The new Governor's installation took place in 
March, 1076. 

Renewed Trouble with the Hottentots. — Soon after-^ 
wards trouble with the Hottentots broke out once 
more Some men belonging to a hunting party were 

32 A History of South Africa 

slain by Buslimen near tlie Breede River, and for this 
crime Gonnenia's clan was erroneously blamed. In 
those days the difference between the Hottentot and 
the Bushman had not yet been recognised. A punitive 
expedition failed to overtake Gonnema, who fled in- 
land, but it swooped down upon a petty chief who had, 
three years previously, destroyed the Company's I30st at 
Saldanha Bay. This chief was relieved of all his cattle 
and sheep. 

The First Farmers beyond the Isthmus.— In 1676 a 
matrimonial court consisting of tAvo officials of the 
Company and two burghers was established. In 1677 
exploration of the coast both east and west was under- 
taken. In 1678 the Government leased land at Hotten- 
tot's Holland to stock farmers. These pioneer graziers 
numbered five. They were the first Europeans to settle 
in South Africa beyond the limits of the Cape Peninsula. 

In June, 1678, Governor Bax died from the effects 
of a cold. On his death-bed he appointed the secunde, 
Hendrick Crudop, to take his place as head of the 
settlement pending the appointment of a sviccessor by 
the Company. 

Completion of the Castle.— The Castle was now 
nearing completion, the excavation of the moat being 
the only item of importance which still had to be 
carried out. This work Avas effected by the Company's 
slaves. On Ajnil 26, 1679, the five points of the fortress 
Avere named as folloAvs : Nassau, Katzenellenhogen, 
Oranie, Leerdam, and Buren. These names denoted 
titles held by the Stadtholder, and were conferred in 
his honour. 

The Objects of the Company. — In its early stages 
the Cape Settlement was looked upon merely as a 
resting-place upon the long sea route between Europe 
and India, a place Avhere scvirvy- smitten crcAvs might 
recover their health ui3on a diet of fresh meat and 
vegetables. As time went on, its value came to be 
more and more recognised ; in a despatch from the 
Council of Seventeen it was referred to as " a frontier 
fortress of India." However, the Company had no in- 
tention of undertaking colonisation in the ordinary 
sense. The granting of arable and grazing lands to 
freemen and discharged soldiers had but one object — 
the production of food for the passing fleets. 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 33 

Disabilities of the Colonists.— But Hh* rostrictious 
upon tradt', due to the monopoly system in foicc, were 
80 galliuK, that discontent was rife among the burghers. 
Moreover, every burgher out of gunshot of the fort was 
almost continually menaced by danger from predatory 
savages or wild animals. 

** The Dutch colonists of the Cape of Good Hoi)e bear 
the name of free men, but they are so tramelled and 
confined in all things that the absence of any freedom 
is but too manifest. The orders and proclamations 
from time to time issued are so rigid that it would be 
impossible to carry out the penalties therein, except 
with the utter ruin of the burghers." So wrote Com- 
missioner Verburg in 1(372, when reporting on the 
condition of the Settlement. 

A Census Taken.— According to the census of 1670 
the Settlement contained 87 freemen, 55 women, and 
117 children, irrespective of 30 Euroi)ean men-servants. 
At this time, in addition to the few homesteads 
scattered around the base of Table Mountain and the 
seven burgher-holdings beyond the Isthmus, the only 
outposts of the Settlement were at Saldanha Bay, at 
Hottentot's Holland, and at the Tygerberg. The coast 
had been explored eastward as far as Mossel Bay, and 
westward to about the present district of van Ryn's 

(To 1691) 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 

Commander Simon van der Stel.— Simon van der 
Stel, the successor of Governor Bax, was installed as 
Commander of the Cape Settlement on October 12, 
1679. Twelve years afterwards his rank Avas raised to 
that of Governor. 

His Character. — A man of strong character and 
marked individuality, Simon van der Stel left an 
impress upon South Africa which can never be effaced. 
He was born at Mauritius, where his father Avas Com- 
mander, in 1639, and received an excellent education 
in Holland. Although closely connected by marriage 
with Burgomaster Six— the friend of Rembrandt and 
a most influential man — he held but a minor post in 
the service of the Company in Holland, when pro- 
motion to the Cape was offered him. He was small of 
stature and of dark complexion ; he had a Avinning 
personality and nuich common sense. Among Simon 
van der Stel's strongest characteristics was an intense 
love of Holland, conjoined with a conservative adhe- 
rence to Dutch models in all spheres of actiAdty. 

Juffrouw van der Stel remained Avith her friends 
in Holland ; AAhy, is not known. She and her husband 
never again met. His four sons accompanied the Com- 
mander to the Cape. 

Origin of Stellenbosch. — Within a fcAV days of his 
arrival the ncAv Commander made a tour of inspection 
to Hottentot's Holland and its vicinity. While on his 
homeward journey, on November 6, he camped in a 
valley well AA^ooded and Avatered, the beauty and fer- 
tility of Avhich captured his imagination. Here he 
determined to found a village, and to name it after 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 35 

hiinselt*. By the following May nine families had 
settled there. Tliis was the beginning of the present 
llourisliiiig town of Stellenbosch. 

The Company's Garden.— Soon afterwards the Com- 
mander took in hand the Company's garden. This had 
liitherto been cultivated for the production of vege- 
tables for use of the passing fleets and the garrison. 
However, vegetables were now being produced in fair 
quantity by the burghers who had taken up land upon 
the Liesbeek River, so the garden was laid out anew, 
and mainly filled with the most beautiful local and 
exotic trees, shrubs, and flowers. In this work one 
Hendrick Oldensand, a skilled botanist, rendered 
valuable assistance. The garden became celebrated 
throughout the civilised world. Its site was that of 
the Cape Town Botanic Garden of to-day. / 

Namaquas visit the Cape. — In 1681 the Commander \y 
sent a message to the Namaquas, suggesting that some 
influential men of the tribe might visit the Cape. 
Near the end of the year a Namaqua deputation 
arrived at the Fort. The men were accompanied by 
their wives ; all were mounted upon pack oxen. They 
brought with them their huts, which consisted of long 
wattles and rush mats. The thick ends of the w^attles 
would be stuck in the ground in a circle some fifteen 
feet in diameter ; then the thin ends would be bent 
inwards till they overlapped, thus forming a beehive- 
shaijed cage. Over this the mats w^ere laid. This 
form of architecture was afterwards adopted by the 
Europeans, and is in use to-day among the Trek Boers 
of Bushmanland. 

The Namaquas brought with them some rich 
specimens of copper ore, of which they said a mountain 
existed in their country. They w ere closely questioned 
about Monomotapa, Vigiti Magna and the river Camissa. 
Of these fabulous entities the Namaquas, of course, 
knew nothing. However, they gave a correct account 
of the Gariep, that great river which Avas afterwards 
named the Orange, and which flows almost across 
>uth Africa from east to west. 

Prosperity of Stellenbosch.— In spite of occasional 
failures of crops the village of Stellenbosch prospei*e<i ; 
more and more people settled there. A magisterial 
board to adjust trivial disputes was appointed in 1082. 

36 A History of South Africa 

111 the folloAving year the first school was established. 
The Commander took a strong personal interest in the 
place, and usually spent his birthdays there. Each 
birthday was kept as a general holiday, and made the 
occasion of a feast. Shooting matches were encouraged 
with the view of making the burghers skilled in the 
use of firearms. From 168(5 annual fairs were held 
early in the month of October. A separate church 
congregation was established in 1686, and a church was 
built the following year. 

In 1682 the work of the High Court of Justice — 
the president of which was the Commander — had in- 
creased to such an extent that an inferior court, styled 
the Court of Commissioners for Petty Cases, was 
established. It was composed of two of the Company's 
officials and two burghers. In the same year and the 
year following respective expeditions were despatched 
with the view of investigating the copper deposits of 
Namaqualand, but neither succeeded in carrying out 
its object. 

Extended Stock-farming.— In 1683-4 stock-farms 
were established at Klapmuts and various other con- 
venient places, a few soldiers being placed in charge 
of each. The Company now owned an abundance of 
cattle. This was largely owing to its having taken 
into its employment a Hottentot captain named Klaas, 
who traded with certain of the interior tribes and 
received a percentage of the stock which he acquired. 
In 1684, twenty -five sacks of rye were despatched to 
India. This was the first grain exported from South 

A Commission of Inquiry. — In the same year tht' 
Chamber of Seventeen decided to send a commission 
to investigate the condition of India and Ceylon. The 
commissioners were three in number ; at their head, 
as High Commissioner with extensive i:)owers, was 
Hendrick Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein, Lore 
of Mydrecht. The commission was instructed to visit 
the Cape Settlement and report upon the state of 
affairs there. It arrived at Table Bay on April 19, 
1685, and remained until July 16. A notice was pub- 
lished to the effect that persons having complaints 
might bring such forward. 

Reforms. — Various reforms were enacted. The 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 39 

Camdeboo or the Sneeuwherg Mountains in the present 
district of Graaff Ileinet. Several Hottentot tribes 
were met with. On the return journey a horde of 
Bushmen, which had recently been i)lundering the 
Hottentots of cattle, was encountered. Thirty of the 
Bushmen were shot, and the booty found in their 
]>()ssession was returned to its owners, the Hottentots. 

Growth of the Colony. — In the mean time the 
Ijopuhition of the settlement was increasing. The 
Commander continually endeavoured to induce suitable 
men found on the ships of the- homeward-bound fleets 
to settle at the Cape. New names of burghers added 
to the records from time to time show that in this 
endeavour the Commander had some success. When 
men of this class iMippened to be married, their wives 
and families were brought from Holland free of charge. 
With the view of providing the unmarried burghers 
with wives it was suggested that young women should 
be sent to the Cape from the larger orphanages of the 
Netherlands. Forty.-eight were immediately required. 
The orphan guardians at Amsterdam and Rotterdam 
favoured the proposal, but very few of the orphans 
would consent to emigrate. During 1685 and several 
succeeding years, various small parties of suitable girls 
were sent out ; such parties were, however, never more 
than seven or eight in number. All married within a 
few weeks of arriving. 

Oak Planting.— In the early days of his administra- 
tion Commander van der Stel was struck by the 
ruthless damage to the natural forests, which had so 
richly clothed the bases of the mountains in the vicinity 
of the Settlement. Having noted that the indigenous 
timber was of slow growth, he tested the qualities of a 
number of exotic species, and thus satisfied himself 
that the oak was the most suitable for reforesting 
purposes. Accordingly he encouraged the burghers by 
every possible means to grow oaks, and eventually 
enacted a law in terms of which every landholder had 
to plant at least one hundred. In 1687 there were 
Uitween four and five hundred young oak trees bearing 
acorns on the Peninsula and at Stellenlx>sch, while in 
the nurseries were some fifty thousand rea<ly for 
t ijiiisplantiiiK. 

Registration of Title Deeds.— In 1686 a registration 

40 A History of South Africa 

of title deeds to land took jjlace ; all such deeds had to 
be produced at the castle and copied. A complete 
registry of titles has ever since been kept, and the 
South African system of land registry is admitted to 
be the best in the world. 

Sumptuary Laws. — Sumptuary laws were enacted 
with the view of checking extravagance in dress and 
a tendency towards display. Among other i)roliibitions 
the wives of mechanics were forbidden to carry 

An Epidemic. — In 1687 a virulent fever broke out ; 
of this many — Europeans, slaves, and Hottentots — 
died. Among the victims were the Rev. Johannes 
Overney, the clergyman of the Settlement, and Captain 
Hieronymus Cruse, who was noted as an explorer. To 
the Hottentots the disease was especially fatal. 

Occupation of the Drakenstein Yalley. — In October 
of the same year the Drakenstein Valley was surveyed, 
and lands therein were granted to approved applicants. 
Some fifty men of the homeward-bound fleet applied 
for grants, but on account of the difficulty of providing 
wives, only the applications of those who were married 
(about one-third) were approved. The name of the 
present naval station, Simon's Town, dates from this 
year. The anchorage there was found to be good, and 
the advantages of the spot as a port of call in the 
event of war were recognised. The Commander's 
Christian name was given to the inlet, which had 
previously been known as Yselstein Bay. 

Arrival of the Huguenots.— King Henry IV. of 
France enacted a decree in 1598, which permitted 
freedom of worship to the Protestants of his kingdom. 
This decree was known as the Edict of Nantes. It was 
revoked in 1685 by King Louis XIV. Then the 
Huguenots, as the French members of the Reformed 
Religion were called, were treated with atrocious 
cruelty. Thousands of them were slaughtered in 
endeavouring to escape, for they were forbidden to 
leave the country. Nevertheless, many succeeded in 
reaching the Netherlands, where they were kindly 
treated. All this had an important bearing upon 
South Africa, for the Company arranged to despatch 
a number of the Huguenots to the Cape. The first 
consignment, numbering twenty-two, sailed from 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 4' 

Delftshaven in a vessel named the VottrHclioten on 
December 31, 1087. Four other vessels with Huguenot 
emigrants for the Cape left the Netherlands within the 
few months following. The total number who at this 
l)eriod came to South Africa was one hundred and 
seventy-six. They were accompanied by one of their 
pastors, the Rev. Pierre Simond. All were required to 
take the oath of allegiance. To prevent the possible 
preix)nderance of Frenchmen in the vicinity of the 
Settlement, an api>roximately equal number of Dutch 
emigrants were despatched about the same time. 

These French immigrants were of a superior class ; 
many were skilled agriculturists. Some had knowledge 
of wine-making and other industries which the burghers 
had had but scant, means of acquiring. A few of them 
belonged to the noblest families of France. Neai'ly all 
were penniless ; only four heads of families and three 
unmarried men were found to be not in need of 

The distressed strangers were most generously 
treated. Out of their own scanty resources the burghers 
and other residents of the Settlement contributed 
money, stock, and grain ; the Company sent out stores 
of provisions as well as planking for the construction 
of temporary houses. Six wagons were supplied by the 
authorities at Cape Town, and six more by the heem- 
raaden at Stellenbosch for the purpose of conveying 
the families to their respective destinations. 

Their Distribution. — A few of the Huguenots w ere 
granted land at Stellenbosch, but the greater number 
were located at Drakenstein, and at another spot in 
its vicinity which came to be called French Hoek. It 
was the wise policy of the Commander to separate 
these i>eople, to mix them up with the Dutch [burghers 
and thus secure the merging of the two races. To 
being so separated the Huguenots — as was natural 
under the circumstances — strongly objected. It was, 
moreover, arranged that Pastor Simond should preach 
on alternate Sundays at Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, 
and that on the occasions when he was absent from 
one or other of the meeting-places, services should 
l)e conducted for the Huguenots in Dutch. 

Within a few months of their arrival the Huguenots 
it Drakenstein, with the approval of the Commander, 

42 A History of South Africa 

established a school under one Paul Roux, Avho was 
familiar with both the French and Dutch languages. 
In 1690 the Church Consistory at Batavia sent a sum 
equal to £1250 for distribution among the strangers. 
This was distributed after an inquiry had been held 
by commissioners. The sums allotted varied between 
£52 and £3 10s. 

In 1689 a number of Huguenots presented to the 
Council of Policy a request for permission to establish 
a church of their own. A similar request was pre- 
ferred to the Chamber of Seventeen. The Commander 
was much enraged. This episode was for some time 
the cause of bitter feeling between Dutch and French. 
Eventually, however, the Company sanctioned the 
establishment of a Huguenot Consistory, but under 
conditions which secured the Commander's authority 

They become merged in the Dutch Population.— The 
process of amalgamation through intermarriage went 
on, however, so rapidly that before two generations 
had passed the French language was dead in South 
\^ Dealings with the Hottentots. — The Hottentot clans 
do not appear to have resented to any marked degree 
the encroachments of the Europeans. The hinterland 
of the Cape Settlement was so vast and so little in- 
habited that there was so far plenty of room for every- 
body. But the clans had become much impoverished 
from three causes, one being their almost perpetual 
intertribal feuds, another the depredations of the Bvish- 
men, and the third their willingness to trade away 
their cattle to the Europeans for strong drink, tobacco, 
and other articles for which they had acquired a taste. 
They submitted voluntarily to being controlled by the 
Europeans ; for instance, when a chief died the Com- 
mander appointed a successor, furnishing him Avith a 
staff which had a copper head. On one side of this 
was engraved the escutcheon of the Company ; on the 
other the new chief's name. Staffs like these w^ere 
looked upon as necessary symbols of authority, and 
were applied for by chiefs of clans far beyond the 
bounds of the Settlement. But it seems to be a law 
of human nature that whenever a weak race comes 
into contact with a strong one, the former must wither. 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 43 

However, judging by comparison, on the whole the 
d(}iiling8 of the Company's government with the Hot- 
tentots Avas humane, lenient, and considerate. It 
cannot be called strictly fair, but so far history records 
very few instances of strictly fair dealing on the part 
of civilised men towards savages with whom they have 
come into contact. 

Building of a Hospital. — One urgent need at the 
Cape was an hospital adequate to the needs of the 
]>ort. In the very early days of the Settlement a 
small hospital had been erected close to the site of 
the present raihvay station. This, although faulty 
in every respect, was the only institution of its kind 
existing until 1699, when the new hospital, the founda- 
tion stone of which had been laid in 1694, was com- 
l)leted. It was designed to hold five hundred patients, 
but could accommodate seven hundred and fifty in an 
emergency. Its site was close to where St. George's 
Cathedral stands to-day. 

The Ravages of Scurvy. — The ravages of scurvy 
were tei'rible. It was not very unusual for more 
than half of a ship's company to die in the course of 
one or other of the long ocean voyages from west 
or east. In 1693 three ships, the Bantam, the Goude 
Buys, and the Schoondyk, sailed from the Netherlands 
for India, rid the Ca^K?. The first lost 221 men. The 
number of men on board the second was 190 ; of these 
all died except seven, who went ashore with a boat 
near St. Helena Bay. In the case of the third, 134 
died before reaching Table Bay, and every one of 
those remaining was sick. In 1695 a fleet of eleven 
ships arrived with 678 men so ill that they were unable 
to walk. 

Piracy. — Between 1692 and 1697 seven important 
vessels were wrecked in the vicinity of the Cape. 
I*irates were now an additional danger to the navigator. 
Csing Madagascar and Delagoa Bay as bases, these 
ruffians infested the Indian Ocean towards the end 
of the seventeenth century. Several pirate ci*aft 
were seized in Table Bay. 

Prosperity of the Settlement. — The Settlement was 
ill a prospiMous condition. No one was rich, but every 
one who cared to work could live in comfort. The 
burghei's appear t<^ have been contented with the 

44 A History of South Africa 

government. Travellers of various nationalities all 
bear witness to the generally satisfactory condition 
of the people ; that is, the people who were free. But 
the slave provided a background of misery to this 
generally satisfactory picture. The spirit of the age 
failed to recognise that he possessed any more rights 
than did the beasts of the field. 

Nevertheless, we can agree with Dr. Theal when he 
says : " Assuredly the men who built up the European 
power in South Africa were, in those qualities which 
ought to command esteem, no whit behind the pioneers 
of any colony in the world. They brought to this 
country an unconquerable love of liberty, a spirit of 
patient industry, a deep-seated feeling of trust in the 
Almighty God; virtues which fitted them to do the 
work marked out for them by Providence in the land 
that to their children was home." 

Statistics. — The following statistics are taken from 
Dr. Theal's " History " :— 

(a) In 1691 the whole Settlement contained — 

1000 Europeans of all ages and sexes — permanent 

300 European men, not permanent residents. 
50 free Asiatics and negroes, with their wives, 
and from 60 to 70 children. 
285 male slaves. 
57 female slaves. 
44 slave children. 

(b) Of stock the burghers possessed — 
261 horses. 

4198 cattle. 

48,700 sheep. 

220 goats. 

More than 400 muids of wheat were raised the 

previous season. 

(c) During the period 1672-1700, inclusive, 1227 
ships put into Table Bay. Of these, 976 were Dutch 
and 170 English. 

Governor Simon van der Stel retired from the Com- 
pany's service, and spent the remainder of his days 
under his own vine and fig tree on the farm Constantia, 
overshadowed by the eastern crags of Table Mountain. 
He died on June 24, 1712. 


(To 1750) 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 

Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel. — The Assembly of 
Seventeen, in recognition of Simon van der Stel's 
services, appointed his son, Wilhem Adriaan, as Gover- 
nor of the Cape Colony and its dependency, the Island 
of Mauritius. The appointment of Councillor Extra- 
oi*dinary of India was conferred upon him concurrently. 
Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel had, during the previous 
ten years, held various public offices in Amsterdam. 
He was installed as Governor at the Castle, Cape Town, 
on February 11, 1699. 

The new Governor followed the good example of his 
father in several respects. Soon after his arrival he 
caused a number of the deforested gorges in the vicinity 
of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein to be filled with young 
oaks. He took keen interest in the Company's garden ; 
in it he established a museum, and a small menagerie. 
He also caused to be therein erected a lodge for the 
entertainment of visitors of distinction. This, enlarged 
and altered, is the house which the Governor of the 
Cape Colony occu])ied previous to the Union. 

The Land of Wavern. — Within a few months of his 
arrival the Governor made a tour of inspection through 
the outlying parts of the Settlement. After visitmg 
Stellenbosch and Drakenstein he went northward along 
the course of the Berg River, and then crossed the 
mountain range which, on account of its having been 
the haunt of Bushmen, had been named the Obiqua. 
To the eastward of this lay that valley now known as 
the Tulbagh Basin, a locality famed for the grandeur 
of its scenery as well as for the beauty and variety of 
its wild flowei*8. The basin was named the Land of 


A History of South Africa 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 47 

Wavern, in honour of an influential family of Anisti'i- 
dam, and the lofty range bounding it to eastward wa.s 
named the Witsenberg, after Nicolaas Witsen, then 
Burgomastc^r of the same city. This range and the 
Obi(iua are connected by the Great Winterhoek, which 
marks the northern limit of the Tulbagh Basin. Dur- 
ing the following year the Wavern tract was occupied 
by a numlier of graziers and their families. 

Prohibition of Trade with the Hottentots.~The old 
law of 1(558, prohibiting trade between the burghers and 
the Hottentots, fell gradually into disuetude. In 1697, 
however, complaints having reached Governor Simon 
van der Stel to the effect that some of the trader's had 
treated the Hottentots harshly and with injustice, he 
issued a placaat re-enacting the prohibition under 
severe penalties. But the Company disapproved of 
this, and the cattle trade was thrown open upon certain 

European Population breaks Bounds. —It is to this 
period that one may trace the birtli of the "trek" 
habit— of that " w^anderlust " which made the South 
African Boer the most efficient pioneer that civilisation 
has ever known. In strong, heavy, lumbering wagons, 
constructed according to a well-known type in use ,in 
the Netherlands, these people pressed farther and 
farther inland, accustoming themselves to rigorous 
conditions and developing great hardihood. 

Inevitably, there were lawless and unscrupulous 
members of the "trekking" fraternity, and at the 
hands of such the Hottentots no doubt often experi- 
enced most unfair treatment. Instances of this having 
been proved, the old prohibition was, in 1703, once more 
put into force. But those who had once tasted the 
manna of the wilderness had lost their taste for the 
bread of civilisation. In spite of heavy threatened 
l^enalties, the trekking and trading went on. 

The First Commando.— As the Colony expanded, as 
settlers t<xik up land farther and farther from the 
shores of Table Bay, trouble with the Bushmen arose 
more fretpiently. Alany serious depredations took place 
ill 1701. Small iK)sts, each manned by a fcAV soldiei*s, 
were established at sevei*al more or less remote points, 
but the protection thus afforded provetl (juite inade- 
quate. Pursuit of the depredators by 8oldiei*s seldom 

48 A History of South Africa 

resulted in the thieves being overtaken. Tlie Hottentot 
clans were as badly plundered as were the burghers. 
In the instances when stolen stock was recovered, such 
of it as belonged to the Hottentots was restored to 
them. One, Gerrit Cloete, after having been twice 
robbed, assembled a commando of Europeans and Hot- 
tentots, and with it swept the Obiqua Range. For 
this he was arrested and prosecuted for waging un- 
authorised war, but the prosecution fell through. 

First Church. — In 1678 the foundation of a church 
had been laid, but the construction was not proceeded 
with. In 1700 the plan was abandoned and another 
foundation stone was laid by the Governor. The build- 
ing, all but the tower, stood finished by the end of 
1703. Hitherto divine service had been held in one of 
the halls of the Castle. 

Character of Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel.— Ovei- 
the character of Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel contro- 
versy has been keen. The rights and wrongs in respect 
of his conduct as Governor have almost become a 
political question. The truth seems to be that he was 
an able man with certain good administrative qualities, 
but that he was inordinately fond of money, and made 
use of his position to fill his pockets — largely at the 
expense of others. With those who opposed him he 
dealt as a tyrant. Some of the charges made against 
this Governor were undoubtedly false ; many others 
were as vmdoubtedly true. 

His Acquisitions of Land. — Commissioner Valckenier, 
who held delegated authority from the Council of 
India, sojourned at the Cape, in passing, in 1700. By 
him Governor van der Stel was granted 400 morgen of 
land at Hottentot's Holland. To this grant the Gover- 
nor added another of land adjoining, under suspicious 
circumstances. Neither grant was registered in the 
ordinary way, nor reported to the Directors. 

" Yergelegen "—His Farming Operations.— The two 
tracts conjoined formed a splendid estate, to which 
was given the name of Vergelegen. Here the Governor 
put up extensive buildings and laid out gardens, orch- 
ards and pleasure grounds. The vines on the estate 
numbered half a million. Most of the work was done 
by the paid servants and slaves of the Company ; a con- 
siderable quantity of the material used came from the 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 49 

( ompaiiy'w stores. The Governor owned all the woolleil 
lieep in the Colony, and had ten cattle-ix^sts among 
t lie mountains. He regulated prices of produce to suit 
lumself, and entered into competition in the markets 
with the farmers, many of whom were in poor 

General Dissatisfaction. — The result was much dis- 
satisfaction, mainly among the burghers of Stellen- 
bosch. This was expressed in a memorial with a 
schedule of complaints, one copy of which was sent to 


the Council of India, another to Amsterdam. When 
the Governor heard of this he caused a number of 
persons concerned in the preparation of the document 
to be arrested. 

Adam Tas. — One, Adam Tas, was in prison for four- 
teen mouths. The Governor then prepared a testimonial 
in his own favour, and sent it by a party of armed men 
liom house to house for signature. Some of his oppo- 
nents he deiK)rted to Batavia ; others to Mauritius ; four 
lie (U'spatchcd to Amsterdam. 

Departure of Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel.— 
Eventually, in 1707, on the i*eport of a commission of 


50 A History of South Africa 

inquiry, Governor Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel Avas 
relieved of his office and ordered to leave the Settle- 
ment. The secunde, Samuel Elsevier, the Rev. Petrus 
Kalden and Landdrost Starrenburg of Stellenbosch, 
shared the Governor's fate. Vergelegen was confiscated, 
and a grant of the farm Zandvliet, which had been 
made in favour of Mr. Kalden, was cancelled. 

The newly appointed secunde, Johan Cornells 
D'Ableing, assumed duty as Acting Governor pending 
the arrival of Louis van Assenburgh, who had been 
appointed to succeed Wilhem Adriaan van der Stel. 
The new Governor arrived early in 1708. He had 
served in the army of the German Emperor, and was 
a soldier with a good reputation. It was said that 
at the Cape he developed an undue taste for wine. 
Nevertheless, he gave satisfaction to the colonists as 
well as to the Company — a task no doubt somewhat 
difficult of achievement. On one occasion he created 
some scandal by entertaining the principal residents 
of the town Avith a fight between bulls and dogs on 
Sunday afternoon. 

Regulation as to Emancipation of Slaves. — In 1708 
Commissioner Simon, who held large powers delegated 
by the Council of India, sojourned at the Cape during 
the passing of the homeward-bound fleet. He enacted 
an amendment to the law regulating the emancipation 
of slaves. It had been found that old and w^orn-out 
slaves were occasionally emancipated so as to free their 
respective owners from the burthen of their mainten- 
ance. Moreover, slaves emancipated in the ordinary 
manner were usually unthrifty in their habits and were 
apt in their old age to become a burthen on the com- 
munity. The new enactment was to the effect that no 
slave might be freed without security being given that 
for a period of ten years he would not have to be 
supported out of the public funds. 

In the same year the Council of Policy issued a 
notification that in future nominations of Church 
officers, as well as other official communications from 
the Drakenstein Consistory, should be in the Dutch 
language instead of in French. 

The Island of Mauritius was now abandoned by the 
Company. For some years it had been a source of great 
trouble owing to its having become a haunt of pirates. 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 51 

Such would land in unexpected places, and a heavy 
garrison luul to Ije kept on the island for the purpose 
of protecting the colonists. The latter were given the 
choice of being conveyed to Batavia or to the Cape. 
Nine families chose the latter alternative. 

Conflagration at Stellenbosch. — In December, 1710, 
I disastrous fire occurred at Stellenbosch. Through it 
were destroyed the church, the landdrost's office, all 
the other buildings belonging to the Company, and 
twelve dwelling-houses. The fire originated from a 
faggot carried by a slave, in a high wind. Fortunately 
the public records were saved. 

Governor van Assenburgh died on December 27, 
1711, after a long illness; he had been confined to his 
room for eight months. The secunde, Willem Helot (he 
had succeeded Johan D'Ableing when the latter was 
transferred to India, in 1710), was chosen by the Council 
of Policy to act as head of the Settlement. 

Expansion. — "The town at the Cape," as Cape 
Town was then termed, had grown — chiefly to west- 
ward of the Company's garden. It contained, in addi- 
tion to the Company's buildings, about one hundred 
and seventy private houses. The colonists had also 
forced their way further inland. From Wavem graziers 
had followed the course of the Breede River, taking up 
land and building homesteads as they went. From 
Hottentot's Holland the mountain had been crossed 
by what to-day is known as Sir LoAvry's Pass, and 
pioneers were in occupation of the wide valley of 
the Zonder Ende River. 

Small-pox. — In 1713 the scourge of small-pox fell on 
the Settlement. Some people on board a ship from 
India had been smitten by the disease, but had recovered. 
After the ship arrived at Table Bay the clothing of these 
people was sent to the slave lodge to be washed ; those 
who handled it took the infection. This happened in 
the month of March. The disease spread to all classes ; 
in June hardly a household had escaped. So many died 
that no more planks were available, and bodies had to 
be interred without coffins. Public business ceased ; the 
courts of justice suspended their sittings. It is esti- 
mated that one-fourth of the inhabitants of the town 
l)erished. It was only when the hot weather returned 
that the scourge ceased to smite. The disease spi^ead 

52 A History of South Africa 

to the country, but the mortality there was not so 

Mortality among Hottentots. — Among the Hotten- 
tots the effect of the disease was frightful ; whole 
villages died out; tribes disappeared, either through 
death or disruption. The remnants of some clans fled 
inland, only to be slavightered by others of their own 
race. But the slayers took the infection, and passed it on. 
As a people, the Hottentots practically ceased to exist. 

Mauritz Pasques de Chavonnes, who held the rank 
of Councillor Extraordinary of the Indies, was appointed 
Governor of the Cape Settlement in the place of Governor 
van Assenburgh. He had held a commission as lieu- 
tenant-colonel in the army of the Netherlands. His 
installation at the Castle took place on March 28, 1714. 

The revenue of the colony was then about £8000 
per annum ; the expenditure, irrespective of the expenses 
connected with passing fleets, about £14,500. With the 
view of bringing about an equalisation, an impost of 
£2 10s. Od. per annum Avas laid upon cattle-runs, and 
stamp duty was charged upon transfers of land and 
slaves ; also upon wills, contracts of marriage, trading 
licences, and legal documents. Moreover, an excise of 
four shillings and twopence was imposed upon every 
leaguer of wine produced. 

Laws in Force.— In 1715 the Council of Policy 
applied the Statutes of India to the Cape, but placaats 
locally issued were still held to be in force. The legal 
situation might thus be described : Local placaats took 
precedence ; where such did not apply, the laws of 
India prevailed. But in cases in which neither of the 
foregoing applied, the ordinary laws of the Netherlands 
were recognised. 

The Bushmen. — In 1715-16 the Bushmen committed 
many depredations. It was at this period that the com- 
mando system had birth. Formal permission having been 
obtained, thirty mounted burghers assembled under one 
Hermanns Potgieter and pursued a gang of Bushman 
marauders. Fugitive slaves were also a source of annoy- 
ance. Members of the unhappy servile class, undeterred 
by the ferocious punishments inflicted upon those who 
were recaptured, deserted and formed themselves into 
predatory bands. 

The Question of Slavery. — In 1716 the question was 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 53 

laiscMl by the Directors as to whether free labourers 
\N ould not be preferable to slaves at the Cape. The 
( ouncil of Policy, with one exception, declared in favour 
of slave labour. The exception was Captain Dominique 
I 'asques de Chavonnes, Commander of the garrison, and 
a brother of the Governor. This man — enlightened far 
in advance of his time — argued eloquently in favour of 
f'lee labour, and described the slave element in the local 
populaticm as being " like a malignant sore in the human 

At the same time the Directors invited opinions as 
to the feasibility of establishing local industries — wool, 
silk, tobacco, indigo, and olives being suggested as 
products likely to repay cultivation. The olive had 
already been experimented with on various occasions, 
but always unsuccessfully. Tobacco, grown in the 
vicinity of the Cape, produced but an ill-flavoured leaf. 
Farming with woolled sheep was not successful — prob- 
ably because no adequate means of dealing with scab 
hacl been discovered. 

Disease among Stock.— In 1714 a malignant disease, 
fatal to both cattle and sheep, broke out. During the 
following ten years stock for slaughter purposes was 
scarce and dear, and the supply of oxen and sheep to 
strangers was prohibited. In the early part of 1719 
horse-sickness made its apjiearance for the first time. 
It took a severe form. Before the frosts of July stopped 
the epidemic, between 16,000 and 17,000 horses had 

Table Bay as a Port of Call.— After the twelve 
years' war between Holland and France had been 
concluded by the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, the Com- 
pany decided to build a large number of ships and 
enlarge its commerce with the East. During the first 
fifteen years of the century, the average number of 
ships which visited Table Bay was sixty-seven. Of 
these, about forty-two were Dutch, and nineteen 
Knglish. During the following ten years, the average 
lunnber was eighty-seven. Of these the Dutch average 
liad increased to sixty-four, while that of the English 
remained stationary. It was at this i>eriod customary 
for all the ships of the homeward-bound fleets, starting 
from (lifFei*ent iK)rts in the Indies, to assemble at Table 
Hay and then set sail together. 

54 A History of South Africa 

Life in Cape Town. — In the early days of the eigli- 
teeiith century the life of the European in South Africa 
must have been an enviable one. On the southern 
shore of Table Bay stood the growing town, the " tavern 
of the eastern seas," as it came to be called. Labour 
was cheap ; bodily or mental exertion on the part of 
members of the dominant race was unnecessary. The 
spacious, white-walled houses — roofed now wdth tiles 
instead of with reeds as in earlier days — sheltered 
many sea-Avearied guests, men grateful for a respite 
from the cramped discomforts of the long ocean voyage. 
Some of the old, blackened wainscotes still standing 
must have echoed to many-tongued gossip of doings on 
the shores of the seven seas. Shelf and cupboard often 
held store of curious things, — porcelain from Cathay, 
grim fantastic weapons from Malaya, grotesque idols 
from looted Indian temples. Along the clean streets, 
almost void of wheeled traffic, strolled bearded seamen, 
around whose eyes the ice-blink and the flaming sun of 
the tropic had graved wrinkles. 

Condition of the Burghers.— At Stellenbosch, Hot- 
tentot's Holland, and along the western base of the 
Drakenstein, and the ranges forming its continuation, 
the solid burghers prospered. In their large home- 
steads, with well-filled byres, barns and cellars attached, 
they dwelt in patriarchal fashion. The wedding, the 
christening, and the funeral, — the occasional visit to 
the town for the purpose of selling produce or buying 
supplies, — these summed up the tale of their experi- 
ences, their activities. All, dw ellers in town as Avell as 
farmers, married young, and usually had large families. 
Their religion — an unemotional Calvinism — although 
formal, was sincere. 

Pioneer Adventurers. — But there was a third class 
— one formed of the percentage in whom the leaven of 
desire for adventure worked — the restless spirits who 
gazed longingly at the mountain rampart beyond 
Avhich lay the wonderland of the unknown. To such 
the voice of the veld, the call of the wide, unmapped, 
untrodden waste, was an imperative command. In 
heavy, strong, lumbering wagons, accompanied by mate 
and brood, these people w^ent forth and subdued the 
wilderness. Only two things linked them to the con- 
ventional world : their weapons and their Bible. 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 55 

Xatmally, the ideals of these wanderers diverged from 
I lie ideals of those who remained behind. Unfortu- 
nately, on the track of those who afi ventured for 
adventure's sake, went others — men who acknowledged 
no law and practised no restraint. By such, robbery 
and nuirder were occasionally committed, the unhappy 
I cniiiants of the Hottentot clans being the victims. 

Shipping Disasters. — The year 1722 proved a dis- 
astrous one to the Company's shipping. In January 
two large vessels, full of merchandise, foundered in 
a gale off the South African coast. On June 14 
there were seven Dutch and five English vessels at 
anchor in Table Bay. A north-east gale set in ; next 
<lay this had somewhat lessened, but on the day follow- 
ing the wind blew with increased violence. When 
night fell the vessels were still riding at anchor. 
When morhing broke there was not a single vessel 
afloat, all were lying heaped upon the shore. Six 
hundred and sixty lives were lost, and an enormous 
amount of property destroyed in this catastrophe. 

Export of Grain. — In 1705 it had been found 
possible to export grain ; in that season, and in those 
succeeding, several thousand muids were sent annually 
to fiatavia. But the Company found that grain could 
be produced in several parts of India at a cheaper rate 
than that fixed at the Cape, so the price was reduced 
to 10s. Sd. per muid. As the Company was expected to 
purchase all produce, the directors issued instructions 
to the effect that no more ground was to be put under 
cultivation for cereals without permission. As there 
was also a superfluity of wine, a similar prohibition 
was enacted in respect of vineyards. How^ever, before 
long it was found that owing to variable seasons, the 
amount of foodstuffs produced at the Cape was a very 
uncertain quantity. 

Governor de Chavonnes died in his seventieth 
year, on September 7, 1724. Jan de la Fontaine, the 
acting secunde, assiuned temixjrary command of the 

Delagoa Bay.— Its Tragic History.— The history of 
the ten ywirs' (wcupation of Delagoa Bay by the Dutch 
East India C(mii)any (1721-80) is an exceedingly ti*agic 
one. It ha<l been long believed that gold was to be 
obtained from the hinterland. In February, 1721, an 

56 A History of South Africa 

expedition, the members of which mimbered 113, was 
sent from the Netherlands. It left Table Bay in three 
small vessels. Delagoa Bay was reached at the end of 
March. The Bantu inhabiting its shores were found 
to be friendly ; by permission of the Chief, Maphumbo, 
a pentagonal earthen fort was erected. It was named 
Fort Lagoa. Within six weeks more than tAvo-thirds 
of the Europeans, including the commander and the 
engineer, were dead of fever. Soon, however, the 
garrison was strengthened by eighty soldiers. 

In April of the following year three pirate ships, 
flying the English flag, entered the bay. They attacked 
the fort ; effective resistance was out of the question. 
An officer, Jan van de Capelle, escaped with eighteen 
men, and sought a temporary asylum with a Native 
clan. The fort was plundered. Eighteen of the soldiers 
joined the pirates. The garrison was again reinforced. 
Expeditions to the interior Avere organised. A certain 
amount of ivory, some copper, a few slaves, and a little 
gold and ambergris were obtained. The Comijany still 
believed in the existence of Monomotapa, and issued 
instructions once more to institute a search for that 
shadoAvy kingdom. 

Fort Lagoa being too small for the increased garri- 
son, a larger one, appropriately called Fort Lydzaam- 
heid, Avas constructed. The foreshore of the Bay Avas 
acquired by purchase from the various petty Native 
chiefs interested. In the summer of 1726 the annual 
outbreak of fever was more than ordinarily malignant ; 
the commandant and thirty-seven of his men died. The 
directors in Holland ordered that search should be 
made for a healthier site farther north, so an expedition 
was despatched accordingly. When this returned it . 
brought intelligence that a Portuguese vessel AA-as at 
Inhambane. A number of the garrison, which Avas 
composed of Germans of an unruly class, plotted to 
desert and march overland so as to endeavour to escape 
in this vessel. Sixteen started, of Avhom thirteen 
reached Inhambane, but the Portuguese captain, 
although he assisted the fugitives by supplying them 
with trade goods, refused to receive them on board his 
ship. They marched on Avith the intention of reaching 
Sofala, but perished on the way. 

In 1728 a number of the garrison, rendered desperate 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 57 

hy the misery of their lot, formed a eonsi)iracy to seize 
tlie fort, kill those who refused to join them, and pro- 
ceed northward to the nearest Portuguese settlement. 
The plot was betrayed ; within a few hours one-third 
of the inhabitants of the fort were in prison. 

The prisonei*s were arraigned before a special 
tribunal which had been hastily assembled. More than 
half were sentenced to death. Some were permitted to 
indulge in a ghastly gamble; lots were drawn, the 
alternatives being death in a cruel form, or long terms 
of servitude in chains. Twenty-two were executed. 
Some were bound to crosses, and had their limbs broken 
previous to being beheaded. Others were half -suffo- 
cated and then hanged. This terrific exhibition of 
brutality was probably due to what ha/1 been described 
as "tropical frenzy," and was, no doubt, the result of 
in'olonged suffering and nervous strain. 

During the following year an officer and twenty- 
nine men forming an expedition to the hinterland were 
slain by Natives. In 1730 the disastrous venture came 
to a close. Delagoa Bay w as abandoned, the fort was 
destroyed, and the garrison and stores removed to the 
Cape. In 1787 the Portuguese resumed possession 
and erected another fort. This was destroyed by the 
Matshangana in 1833, the entire garrison being mas- 
sacred. A few years later the Portuguese reoccupied 
Delagoa Bay, and they have held it ever since. 

Failure of Silk Culture. — In the second quarter of 
the eighteenth century strenuous efforts were made by 
the Company towards establishing silk culture as an 
industry at the Cape. It had been found that the 
mulberry flourished well ; in other respect conditions 
appeared to be favourable. Nevertheless complete 
failure resulted. The worms, just before the stage at 
which the cocoon is formed, died of some mysterious 
disease. After an eight years' trial the project was 

Death of Governor Noodt. — The successor to Gover- 
nor de Cliavonues was Pieter Gysbert Noodt, a director 
of fortifications, who had eight yeai's previously visited 
Table Bay in connection with a scheme for improving 
its defensive works. He had then been the occasion of 
a gi*eat deal of unpleasantness through (iuari*elling with 
the secunde over the riuestion of precedence. Governor 

58 A History of South Africa 

Noodt seems to have fallen out with every one with 
whom he came in contact. A little over two years 
after his installation he died suddenly in the Pleasure 
House in the Company's garden. The accounts once 
current which described this Governor as a ferocious 
tyrant have no foundation in fact. He was most prob- 
ably nothing worse than merely disagreeable. 

The secunde, Jan de la Fontaine, was ai)X)ointed 
Governor in Noodt' s place. This was in response to a 
recommendation made by the Council of Policy. 

Decline of Prosperity. — The Cape Settlement was 
no longer in a flourishing condition. Owing to foreign 
ships not being permitted to obtain supplies, very few 
vessels except those belonging to the Company visited 
Table Bay. This, naturally, caused a serious shortage 
of ready money. Moreover, the prosperity of the Com- 
pany began to decline. The English and French were 
capturing the Eastern trade by wholesale. Many of 
the trading stations which had previously contributed 
handsome profits were now run at a loss. The Direc- 
torate fell into the hands of a few powerful families. 
The Government of Holland had the right to inspect 
the Company's affairs, and to correct abuses. But the 
influence exercised by the Directorate in the States 
General prevented this being adequately done. 

Corruption. — Corruption, which had always existed, 
increased rapidly. The most profitable possessions of 
the Company were too remote to admit of adequate 
supervision being exercised. Shameless oppression 
was common. It seemed, indeed, as though every 
official endeavoured to fill his own pockets and dis- 
regarded the interests of the corporation that em- 
ployed him. The corruption did not extend in any 
great degree to the Cape. This may have been due to 
the comparative poverty of the Settlement as well as 
to the growing independence of the colonists. 

In June, 1734, Governor de la Fontaine visited 
Mossel Bay. One of the Company's ships homeward 
bound from India had put in there in distress. The 
ship was relieved, a number of farmers having brouglit 
wagons to remove a portion of the cargo. The 
Governor's party proceeded farther eastward, and 
visited the Outeniqua forests. Thence they were 
obliged to turn back, owing to heavy rain. One result 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 59 

<»F thi.s trip was the establishment of a small military 
post at Rietvlei, to the eastward of the present site of 
Swellendam. Shortly afterwards a temporary post 
was established at St. Helena Bay. 

More Shipping Disasters. — In July, 1728, six ships 
were at anchor in Table Bay. Of these three were 
driven ashore in a gale. One, the Haarlem^ was after- 
wards refloated and sent to Saldanha Bay for repairs. 
She returned early in December, when an unseasonable 
north-west gale sent her ashore once more; she then 
became a total wreck. In May, 1737, out of nine ships 
in the Bay, seven were driven ashore. Of their crews 
208 were drowned. The beach was strewn with wreck- 
age and cargo. Pour unfortunate men caught pilfering 
this were hanged and tlieir bodies exposed on the 

Hunting Expeditions Eastward. — Parties of elephant 
hunters had now for some time been in the habit of 
l)enetrating the coiuitry, which must have been ex- 
l)lored far to the eastward. But such explorers were 
averse to giving information as to the regions they had 
traversed, so general geographical knowledge was not 
increased through their discoveries. 

In 1736 two parties of huntei's united and proceede<^l 
towards Natal. In Pondoland they found three 
Englishmen who had been wrecked many years pre- 
viously, and were then living among the Natives. They 
had wives and large families. At the kraal of Palo, 
then j)aramount chief of the Amaxosa, the party 
divided ; one division went on while the other remained 
l^ehind. The members of the latter were treacherously 
murdered by the Natives. The goods were scattered 
and the wagons burnt. During the burning three kegs 
of gunpowder blew up, killing and wounding a large 
number of the savages. The Europeans of the other 
division ese^i)ed, but only with great difficulty, and 
aftt^r abandoning their wagons and stores. 

Governor de la Fontaine retired in 1737, and was 
succeeded by the secunde, Mr. Adriaan van Kervel. 
The latter died on September 19, three weeks after 
his installation. The next secunde, Mr. Hendrick 
Swellengreliel, and the Independent Fiscal, Mr. Daniel 
van den Henghel, were Ijoth candidates for the Acting- 
< Governorship. A somewhat awkwaiil situation was 

6o A History of South Africa 

created, for neither would give way, and the votes of 
the Council of Policy were evenly divided. However, 
it was decided to settle the question by the expedient 
of drawing lots, and chance declared in favour of 
Mr. van den Henghel. This proceeding was subse- 
quently annulled by the directors ; Mr. Swellengrebel 
was appointed Governor, and Mr. Ryk Tulbagh, 
Secunde. The new Governor was a South African by 

Illicit Traders cause Trouble. — In 1739 it was re- 
ported by the Nam aquas that the servants of a party 
of Europeans who had been trading with them for 
cattle, had returned and looted the kraals of the tribe 
of all cattle remaining. The traders, ten in number, 
Avere summoned before the landdrost of Stellenbosch 
to answer for their infraction of the often enacted law 
against private trading with Hottentots. At the same 
time all their cattle w ere seized. The traders refused 
to appear. They were then cited before the High 
Court of Justice. This summons they also disre- 

Sedition of Estienne Barbier. — Considerable excite- 
ment among the burghers ensued. It was the general 
opinion that the Government had acted harshly. One 
Estienne Barbier, an ex-sergeant, who had deserted from 
the army, appeared before the church at the Paarl 
with eight mounted followers. He read a document, 
which he termed a placaat, to the congregation ; the 
latter happened to be emerging from the church after 
Sunday service. This document accused the Acting- 
Governor and the Landdrost of tyranny and corrup- 
tion ; after being read it was affixed to the wall of the 

Those concerned with Barbier in his sedition were 
subsequently pardoned on condition that they joined a 
commando against the Bushmen, who were then com- 
mitting serious depredations. Barbier was captured 
and sentenced to suffer a cruel death. His right hand 
was cut off, and then he was beheaded. 

The Bushmen. — In 1740 various commandos operated 
against the Bushmen, Avith the result that about a 
hundred of the latter were killed. Afterwards several 
leaders of these savages, with a few of their folloAvers, 
visited the Castle, where they were entertained and 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 6i 

presented with gifts. For some time thereafter dein-e- 
dations were not so frequent. 

Destruction of Game. — Between 1742 and 1753 some 
efforts were made towards limiting the destioietion of 
\N ild animals, which were being rajjidly exterminated. 
Hut, except in the immediate vicinity of the Settlement, 
tliere existed no machinery for enforcing the laws 
enacted on the subject, so the destruction of game went 
on [)ractically unchecked. 

The Moravian Society.— In 1736 the Moravian 
Society sent a missionary named George Schmidt to 
South Africa for the purpose of endeavouring to con- 
vert the Hottentots to Christianity. Schmidt came 
with the sanction • and approval of the Chamber of 

George Schmidt at Baviaan's Kloof.— He established 
himself at Baviaan's Kloof (now Genadendal) in the 
present district of Caledon. One of the conditions 
imposed in respect of this missionary's work was to 
the effect that converts had to be presented to the 
clergyman at Stellenbosch for baptism. 

After labouring for five years, Schmidt ventured to 
baptise five converts. For so doing he was called strictly 
to account. It was held that his orders were invalid, 
and that consequently he could not administer sacra- 
ments. Moreover, the farmers in the vicinity of Bavi- 
aan's Kloof disapproved of his evangelising work and 
enticed a number of his people away. Feeling that 
under the circumstances he could do no good, this first 
missionary to South Africa requested the Council of 
Policy to provide him with a passage to Europe. The 
request was granted. 

Establishment of New Churches. — In 1744 the only 
churches existing in the Settlement and its vicinity 
wei*e those at Cape To\vn, Stellenbosch, and the Paarl. 
New churches were now established at Wavern (now 
Tulbagh) and Zwartland (now Malmesbury). In 1745 a 
connnission fixed the boundaries of the five parishes— a 
l)r(K*eeding looked uix)n with grave suspicion by the 
I)irectoi*s. A i)etition from the Lutherans, asking for 
permission t-o establish a church, was refused. 

Simon's Bay. — In view of the serious losses occasion- 
ally sustained by the Company's shipping during the 
winter season, it was resolved by the Directors that 

62 A History of South Africa 

between the 15th May and the 15th August fleets 
should cast anchor in Simon's Bay instead of in Table 
Bay. In 1743 Governor-General van ImhofF, passing 
with one of the homeward-bound fleets, selected a site 
for a magazine, hospital, and barrack. In the same 
year the construction of a mole or breakwater in Table 
Bay was begun. It was hoped thus to protect the 
shipping from the . terrible north-west gales. After 
nearly three years' work, however, the construction 
was abandoned. 

Swellendam established. — In 1746 the magistracy 
of Swellendam was established, the name being given 
in honour of the Governor and his wife, whose maiden 
name was Ten Damme. A boundary was defined 
between the new district and that of Stellenbosch, 
bvit, as usual, no limits were stated in respect of the 
northern and eastern sides. At this time the graziers 
had taken up land as far east as the Gamtoos River. 
Efforts were made to induce them to withdraw to the 
western bank of the Great Brak River, but without 

A Yisitation of Locusts. — In 1746 a severe visitation 
of locusts occurred. The wheat crop had fortunately 
been harvested, but every other crop — in fact, every 
blade and leaf in the Settlement and its vicinity — were 
destroyed. Owing to lack of pasturage, enormous losses 
of stock were sustained. The seasons following were, 
however, favourable, and the average export of wheat 
to India was over 7500 muids. Of wine, 384 leaguers 
were sent to Batavia. This was irrespective of what 
was supplied to passing ships. For their ordinary wdne, 
the farmers received about £5 5s. Od. per leaguer, net. 
In the case of Constantia wine the demand was far in 
excess of the supply. 

In 1747 the Prince of Orange — once more Stadt- 
holder of the Netherlands — was made Chief Director 
and Governor-General of the East India Company. The 
fortunes of the State were largely bound up w ith those 
of this vast concern, and it was considered that placing 
the Stadtholder at the head of the latter would give it 
stability. This expectation was not, however, realised. 
The general sentiment at the Cape was monarchical 
rather than republican, so the appointment was made 
the occasion of great rejoicing. 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 63 

Governor Swellengrel)el retired from the Coraimny's 
-.'ivice in 1751, and t<M)k up hi.s renidence at Utrecht, 
\\ iiere lie died in 1708. 

During the period 1726-50, 1883 vessels cast anchor 
m Table Bay. Of these 1508 belonged to the Comiwiny, 
whilst 284 were under the English flag. 


(To 1784) 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 

GoYernor Ryk Tulbagh.— The secunde, Mr. Ryk Tul- 
bagli, was appointed to succeed Governor Swellengrebel. 
He had come to the colony as a clerk at the age of 
seventeen, about thirty-five years previously. He had 
a distinguished career. 

His Character. — Not alone were his honesty, in- 
dustry, and thoroughness in his capacity as a public 
servant proverbial, but he possessed a high character 
and a cultivated mind. In an age when peculation on 
the part of men in his position was taken as a matter 
of course, Ryk Tulbagh was strictly honest. As he had 
no personal business interests, he was able to prevent 
the officials vmder his control from trading — a practice 
then productive of much evil. Bribery and corruption, 
which were rife when he assumed office, within a short 
period were completely put down. His wife was a sister 
of his predecessor. 

Visits of the Abb6 de la Caille.— In 1751 the Abbe 
de la Caille, a distinguished French astronomer, visited 
the Cape, where he remained for two years. During 
this time he was engaged in measuring an arc of the 
meridian and making a sidereal chart of the southern 

A Census. — According to the census taken in 1754, 
the number of Europeans within the jurisdiction of the 
Company is given as 5510. This number presumably 
does not include those who had wandered far inland, 
and who must have been fairly numerous. The number 
of slaves was 6279. For many years the horrible traffic 
in human beings had been growing. The ships engaged 
in it were principally English. Madagascar and the 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 65 

East Coast of the African Contiueut were the principal 
Hoiirctes of supply. To judge by entries in the 
•Journal" kej)t at the castle, large numbers of slaves 
were l)i-ought from Delagoa Bay, and the mortality 
.iniong these must have been frightful. 

Slavery and its Effects. — As the number of slaves 
increased, the Europeans became more and more averse 
to performing hard or disagreeable work. As Dr. Theal 
says : " The introduction of slaves had caused every 
white man, no matter how humble his birth, to regard 
himself as a master, and unless paid at an extravagant 
rate, he expected to be served instead of serving 

Horrible Punishments. —In 1754 a Slave Code was 
enacted by Governor Tulbagh, and its cruel provisions, 
although no doubt lenient by comparison \#th con- 
temporary meth(xls, bring the harshness of the time 
into vivid contrast with the humanitarian ideas of 
to-day. Any slave, male or female, raising a hand 
against master or mistress had to be put to death 
without mercy. Any slave, — man, woman, or child, — 
was liable to be severely flogged for loitering near the 
entrance of a church when the congregation was leav- 
ing, or for being found within the churchyard at the 
time of a funeral. For many offences slaves could be 
flogged summarily by the officers of justice ivifhout 
trial. And this in terms of a cofle compiled and enacted 
by a man who was distinguished in his generation for 
charity and kindliness. 

The punishments inflicted upon these unhappy 
captives were almost incredibly horrible. Here is a 
list of sentences passed on one day, Nov. 11, 1730 — 

Three slaves to be broken. 

Three to be hanged. 

One female slave to be scourged and branded, and 
fixed to a block all her life. 

One slave to be scourged, branded, and placed in 
irons for ten years. 

One male and one female slave to be scourged and 

One male slave to be scourged and so sent home. 

One male slave to be scourged, branded, and placed 
in irons for his whole life. 

This brutality was not peculiar to the Cape. The 


66 A History of South Africa 

foregoing list could easily be paralleled from contem- 
porary records of St. Helena, then governed by the 
English East India Company. 

Sumptuary Laws. — In 1755 the sumptuary laws of 
India, modified to suit local conditions, were enacted 
at the Cape. Ladies whose husbands were below the 
rank of junior merchants were forbidden to wear silk 
dresses or embroidery or diamonds. All women, with- 
out distinction, were forbidden to wear trains. The 
dresses of brides and bridesmaids were dealt with. 
Other regulations related to servants, carriage-horses, 
etc. Heavy penalties were enacted should more than 
one undertaker be employed at a funeral, or should 
dust be strown before the house door as a sign of grief, 
unless the deceased were a governor or a member of 
the Council of Policy. 

" Father " Tulbagh (as he was, no doubt, deservedly 
called) could treat his children with severity on occa- 
sion. A certain widow refused to send her progeny 
to school. The Governor summoned the lady before 
the Council of Policy, and ordered her, should she 
remain obstinate, to be flogged. 

Small-pox introduced. — In 1755 small-pox was again 
introduced into the Settlement, this time by some 
vessels from Ceylon. So malignant was the form taken 
by the disease that in Cape Town practically every 
adult who was attacked succumbed. During the 
month of July 489 Europeans, 33 free blacks, and 580 
slaves died. The epidemic lasted six months. Alto- 
gether 963 Europeans and 1109 black and coloured 
persons died. Property of all kinds became unsaleable ; 
business came to a standstill. In the country the 
mortality was not so heavy among Europeans, but the 
wretched Hottentots suffered severely. The pest 
spread northward into Great Namaqualand, and east- 
ward into Kaffirland, as far as the Bashee River. 
During the following year it was discovered that 
leprosy existed in the Settlement. A European and 
his daughter, who were found to be affected with the 
disease, were isolated. Leprosy existed among the 
Hottentots, but not to any great extent. 

Nucleus of the South African Library. — In 1761 a 
gentleman named Joachim Nicolaas van Dessin, a 
native of Rostock, in Germany, died in Cape ToAvn, He 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 67 

bequeathi'd t<> the Colony his library, which consisted 
of .3800 volumes and a number of manuscriptH. He 
also befiueathed the sum of £208 as an endowment. 
This colleen tio formed the nucleus of the present South 
African library. 

First Crossing of the Oariep. — The first European 
to cross the Gariep, since named the Orange River, was 
an elephant hunter, named Jacobus Coetsee, who went 
northward from his farm near Piquetberg, in 1760. In 
Great Namaqualand he heard of the Damara Tribe as 
occupying country ten days' journey beyond the farthest 
IKjint he had reached. These people were said to have 
long hair, and to dress in white linen garments. 
Captain Hendrik Hop, of the Burgher Militia, offered 
to lead an exploring party northward. The Governor 
approving, volunteers were called for. The expedition, 
the members of Avhich numbered seventeen Euro- 
peans and fifty-eight coloured drivers and servants, 
started in August, 1701. It included Jan Andries 
Auge, a distinguished botanist. The train consisted of 
sixteen wagons. The Orange River was crossed, prob- 
ably at the ford now known as Ramon's Drift. The 
farthest point reaehed Avas in latitude 26° 18' S. The 
season was now summer, and the heat was intense. 
On December 7 the return journey was begun, in the 
course of which many hardships were endured. On 
one occasion thirty oxen were looted by Bushmen. The 
Xamaquas were found to be suffering severely from the 
depredations of these marauders. A halt for the pur- 
pose of resting the worn-out cattle was made at the 
Orange River. The water rose suddenly one night, 
and it was only with difficulty that the wagons were 
saved from being swept away. It was not until April 
27, 1762, that Captain Hop and his followers i"eached 
Cape Town. The results of the enterprise were unim- 
portant. Some giraffes had been shot, and the skin of 
one of these, the first ever sent from South Africa, was 
presented by the Governor to the University Museum 
at Ley den. The first information as to the Bechuana 
Tribe was obtained. Some Namaquas had been 
observed smelting copper oi*e and working the metal 
into ornaments. 

Small-pox again. — In 1767 there occurrerl another 
epidemic of smalI-i)OX. The infection was brought fi*om 

68 A History of South Africa 

Europe in a Danish shii). Although in not nearly so 
virulent a form as in the case of the previous epidemics, 
— each of which ended with the advent of summer, — 
the infection on this occasion persisted for two years. 
Altogether 179 Europeans and 396 black and coloured 
persons succumbed. There were Very few cases out- 
side the limits of the town. 

The Hottentots. — The surviving Hottentots, pathetic 
waifs from a once-numerous people, hovered on the 
fringes of the tracts occupied by Europeans, or 
wandered aimlessly over the great inland plains. They 
had hardly any property, for the Bushmen depredators 
were never far off. Except in the matter of endoising 
the appointment of " captains " of the depleted clans, 
they were not interfered with by the Government in 
their I'elations with each other. In their relations 
with the Europeans the laws of the latter were applied. 
These people gave little or no trouble. They were often 
harshly and even cruelly treated by those Europeans 
who had penetrated beyond the settled areas, but 
there is evidence that when wrongfully used within the 
jurisdiction of the courts, the Hottentots received full 
protection. However, owing to their nature and to the 
circumstances obtaining, the " unfit " Hottentots were 
bound to sviccumb. Even had the White Man never 
landed in South Africa, the Hottentot would inevitably 
have been crushed between the Bantu, Avho was 
rapidly advancing from the north-east, and the Bush- 
man. There is, in fact, evidence to the effect that some 
Hottentot clans had already been overwhelmed by the 
Bantu wave, and their remnants absorbed. 

Eastern Boundary defined. — In 1770 the first defini- 
tion of an eastern boundary of the Colony Avas made. 
Bruintjes Hoogte, in the present Somerset East District 
of the Cape Province, and the Gamtoos River were 
proclaimed as the colonial limit. The commission which 
fixed this boundary foiuid that for many years past 
Europeans had been trading with the Bantu for cattle 
to a considerable extent. 

Wine-making Industry.— Soon after the middle of 
the eighteenth century Avine-making had grown to be 
the most important colonial industry. Occasionally 
the supply was in excess of the demand ; then distress 
ensued. But as the rivalry of the English and French 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 69 

«leveloi)ed in the EaHt, more and mure ships visited 
Table Bay, and consequently wine came into increasing 
i leniand. The French, who occupied Mauritius aft<;r the 
Com i)any abandoned it, were esj^ecially good customers. 
But tliere were continual complaints as to the inferior 
<iuality of the wine made. In 1762 the demand was so 
Kreat that the producers declined to sell to the Com- 
pany, owing to their being able to obtain higher prices 
t roni strangers. But a placaat prohibiting the sale of 
wine to any customer but the Company was issued, 
and this left the farmers helpless. However, this 
|)lacaat, having had the desired effect, was withdrawn 
within four weeks of its issue. In 1769 a shipment of 
liorses, i)urchased by English officers for remount pur- 
poses, was sent to Madras. 

Death of Governor Tulbagh. — Goveinor Tulbagh 
(lied on August 11, 1771, after having held his office for 
upwards of twenty years — longer, in fact, than any 
Governor before or since. For some years he had 
suffered much from illness. His deathbed was a deso- 
late one, for he was childless, and he had survived his 
wife and all his near connections. The mourning for 
this admirable man was sincere and general. 

Captain Cook's Description of Cape Town.— During 
Governor Tulbagh's term of office Cape Town was much 
enlarged and imjiroved. Captain Cook, after his visit, 
during the year in which the Governor died, wrote of 
it as follows : — 

" The only town which the Dutch have built here is, 
from its situation, called Cape Town, and consists of 
about a thousand houses, neatly built of brick, and in 
general whited on the outside ; they are, however, only 
covered with thatch. ... In the principal street there 
is a canal [the Heerengracht, where Adderley Sti*eet 
now is] on each side of which is planted a i^ow of oaks, 
that have flourished tolerably well, and yield an agrt»e- 
able shade. 

" A much gi*eater proportion of the inhabitants are 
Dutch in this place than in Batavia ; and as the town 
is supi3orted principally by entertaining strangei-s, 
and supplying them with necessaries, every man, to a 
certain degree, imitates the mannei*s and customs of 
the nation with which he is chiefly concerned. The 
ladies, however, are so faithful to the mo<le of their 


A History of South Africa 

country, that not one of them will stir without a 
chaudjned or chauffet, which is carried by a servant 
that it may be ready to put under her feet whenever 
she shall sit down. This practice is the more remark- 
able, as very few of these chauffets have fire in them, 
which, indeed, the climate renders unnecessary. 

" The women in general are very handsome ; they 
have fine clear skins, and a bloom of colour that in- 

Photo : T. D. Eavenscroft.l 


dicates a purity of constitution and high health. They 
make the best wives in the world, both as mistresses of 
a family and mothers, and there is scarcely a house 
that does not swarm with children." 

GoYernor van Plettenberg.— Baron van Ovidtshoorn, 
the secunde at the Cape, who happened to be in Europe 
at the time, was chosen by the Directors as successor to 
Governor Tulbagh. Mr. Joachim van Plettenberg, the 
fiscal, was appointed secunde. But the Governor- 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 71 

designate died on the voyage to the Cai>e, and then 
Mr. van Piettenberg was appointed Governor, and Mr. 
Willeiu Cornelis Boers, fiscal. Baron von Oudtshoorn 
probably had some premonition of his near-approaching 
death, for he brought a leaden coffin with him. In this 
his btxly was i)laced. It was conveyed to Cape Town, 
and buried with due ceremony under the floor of the 

Building of New Hospital.— In 1772 the foundation 
-tone of the new hospital, which was designed to 
accommodate 1450 iiatients, was laid. The Directors 
issued orders to the effect that the vessels bringing the 
construction material from Holland should be loaded 
with return cargoes of Cape produce. Wheat, barley, 
rye, wine, and tallow were the articles thus exported. 
For some years an average of over one hundred leaguers 
of ordinary wine was sent to Europe. The profits, at 
the prices fixed by the Company, were found to be 
satisfactory. At the same time the exjxjrt of produce 
to India, in fairly considerable quantities, was con- 
tinued. However, owing to the irregularity of the 
South African rainfall, supplies occasionally failed. 

Wreck of *'De Jonge Thomas."— In June, 1773, an 
Indiaman, named De Jonge ThoinaSy was torn from her 
anchorage in Table Bay during a gale from the north- 
west. She ran ashore near the mouth of the Salt 
River and began to break up. 

Woltemaade. — Although those on board were in 
imminent danger, no efforts towards rendering them 
assistance appear to have been made until one Wol- 
raad Woltemaade, a dairyman, arrived on the scene. 
Mounted on a powerful horse, he dashed into the 
waves, and after two of the shipwrecked men had 
caught hold of the horse's tail, returned to the shore. 
Seven times he performed this feat successfully ; in the 
eighth attempt his horse became exhausted, and the 
brave rescuer was overwhelmed and was drowned. The 
Governor refused assistance to Woltemaade's children, 
but such was subsequently given by the Company. 
The heroic Woltemaade has ever since occupied a niche 
in the South African temple of fame. Within a few 
years after his death the Company name<l an Indiaman 
aftei' him, but it had the misfortune to be captured by 
the English in the war which bi*oke out in 1780. 


A History of South Africa 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 73 

Extension of Eastern Boundary.— In 1775 the boun- 
dary of tlie Colony was vxU^iuimi eastward to the 
upper reaclien of the Fish River. In the vicinity of 
the coast, however, the Colonial limits were as yet un- 
defined. At this time Euroixjans had taken up land in 
the Kamiesbergen, the Uanttim, the Nieuwveld Moun- 
tains, and the Sneeuwlx^rgen. 

Increased Shipping.— As the general trade of Europe 
with tlic East developed, more and more ships called at 
the Cape. During the nine years which ended in 1780, 
the annual average of vessels which touched at either 
Table Bay or Simon's Bay was 117. Of these 52 were 
Dutch, 21 French, and 18 English. There was accoitl- 
ingly an increasing demand for foodstuffs at more than 
double the i-ates paid by the Company. Conseciuently, 
discontent prevailed. 

Governor van Plettenberg's Tour.— The Governor 
decided to visit the outlying parts of the Colony to 
eastward and north-eastward. Some burghers dwelling 
in those regions had petitioned for the extension of 
the only two civilising agencies possible under the 
circumstances — tlie church and the landdrost's court. 
The petition was signed by thirty -four heads of families. 
It is incidents sucli as this which tend to disprove the 
idea that the original pioneers were men whose only 
desire was to place themselves beyond the sphere of 
law and order — who sought licence m the name of 
liberty. That these remote dwellers were under some 
control is evinced by the circumstance that their 
attendance at the yearly drill at the nearest drostdy 
was enforced under penalty of a substantial fine. The 
attendance of men dwelling in the Hantam and north 
of the Sneeuwberg, at Swellendam or Stellenbosch, 
must have involved well-nigh intolei-able inconvenience. 

On September 3, 1778, the Governor's expedition 
started. The course taken was through the Hex River 
Pass, and thence across the Great Karoo to the foot of 
the Sneeuwberg Range. At a si)ot near the pi*esent 
site of Graaff Reinet a camp was fonued ; here most of 
the wagons were left. 

The Northern Beacon.— Then the expedition pro- 
ceeded to the vicinity of where Colesberg stands to-day, 
and cm a ridge close to a point on the Zeekoe River, 
a beacon bearing the Comimny's monogram and the 

74 A History of South Africa 

Governor's name, was set up. This was to indicate the 
north-eastern limit of the Colony. The Zeekoe River 
must have then contained much more water than it 
now does, for in one day the party killed twenty hippo- 
potami in it. From there the party returned to the 
Sneeuwberg, Avhence they travelled to the farm of one 
Prinsloo, Avhere the town of Somerset East stands 

Meeting with KaflBrs. — Within a few miles was a 
Xosa kraal, the inhabitants of which belonged to the 
Amagwali clan. A number of these people came to the 
Governor's encampment, and were there entertained. 
Through some of them presents were sent to Rarabe, 
an important chief of the Xosa tribe. This was the 
first occasion upon which any of the Dutch officials of 
South Africa came into contact with the Bantu. The 
Governor then took a course towards the sea. West of 
the Bushman's River Bantus were found ; these formed 
the first ripple of that wave of migration which had been 
sweeping sovith- westward so strongly. Algoa Bay was 
reached and an inspection made of its shores. Then 
the expedition crossed the Gamtoos River and travelled 
up the Long Kloof in the direction of Knysna. The 
inlet, since known as Plettenberg's Bay, was visited, 
and a pillar bearing an inscription set up there. This 
pillar is still standing. 

The Orange River. --Captain Gordon, a Scotsman in 
the employ of the Company, was a member of the 
expedition. He had, during the course of a trip under- 
taken the previovis year, reached the Gariep, close to 
its conflvience with the Caledon. In 1779 he travelled 
through Little Namaqualand to where the Gariep 
flowed into the Atlantic. He then named it the Orange 
River, in honour of the Stadtholder. 

The Fish River Boundary.— In 1780 the Council of 
Policy resolved that the lower course of the Fish River 
should be the eastern boundary of the Colony. This 
was in terms of an arrangement the Governor had 
entered into with the Xosa Chiefs he had met with in 
the course of his tour, two years previously. 

A Lutheran Minister appointed. — In the same year 
the Directors consented to the appointment of a 
minister to the Lutheran congregation at Cape Town. 
It was made a condition that such minister should be 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 75 

by Ijirtli a nativt; of tht* Xothcrlands. Six years pre- 
\ iously one Martin Melk had built a (fhurch and 
presenUnl it to the Lutherans. This ehurch is the 
one in Strand Street which is still used by Dutch 
Lutherans. A notable event of 1780 was the discovery 
of the celebrated Cango Caves, in the distnct of 

Official Corruption. — It was not long before Governor 
\ an Plcttenberg lost the confidence of the people whom 
he ruled. His neglect to exercise sup>ervision over the 
officials opened the door to almost intolerable abuses. 
Governor Tulbagh had controlled his subordinates 
with a firm hand, and he had an eye so searching that 
such things as private trading or bribery were quite 
imix>ssible. But under his successor the officials ti*aded 
oi^enly, and it was soon found that no business in which 
the Government was in any way concerned, could be 
transacted without bribes being given. 

The Fiscal, Willem Cornelis Boers, whose ostensible 
function it was to keep all Company's servants, from the 
Governor downward, in the strait and narrow path of 
official rectitude, was one of the most corrupt of men. 
His position as controller of trade gave him oppor- 
tunities of fraudulently manipulating the prices i)aid 
for produce. A given product, such as corn or wine, 
was i3aid for at a certain rate if sent to Holland, at 
another if sent to India, at a third if sold to a passing 
ship. It lay with the Fiscal to decide in each case as 
to the destination of a given item. Herein lay plentiful 
opportunities for corrupt dealing, which were cynically 
and shamelessly used. And there were numerous other 
modes by which the corrupt officials were enabled to 
prey uix)n the public. 

General Discontent. —The general discontent reached 
a pitch of considerable intensity when a certain burgher 
named Buitendag was arrested in his house, dragged 
through the streets by black scavengers and placed on 
board a ship bound for Batavia. The deportation was 
l)ei-fectly legal, but the circumstances under which it 
was carried out rendered it odious. The authorities at 
Batavia gave Buitendag permission to return to the 
Cai^ at once, but he died on the voyage. At a meeting 
of the Council of Policy held on March 30, 1779, a 
written request was presented. This was signed by 

76 A History of South Africa 

three Burgher Councilloi's and four of the Heemraden 
of Stellenbosch, and was to the effect that the signators 
had been asked by four hundred burghers to apply for 
leave to elect four delegates for the purpose of proceed- 
ing to Holland and voicing the general discontent to 
the Directors. The Council refused the request, but 
stated its willingness to redress any grievances that 
might be substantiated. 

A Deputation to Holland. — Undeterred by this 
refusal, the discontented burghers elected the four 
representatives ; these took to Holland a long memorial 
in which the grievances were detailed. Such mainly 
related to trading and corruption on the part of the 
officials— more especially on that of the Fiscal. The 
deputation pleaded their cause in person before the 
Assembly of Seventeen, which appointed a commission 
to collect evidence and frame a report. A copy of the 
memorial and its annexures was sent to the Cape. 

What was called " Freedom." — The Governor and 
the Fiscal replied at length. The memorialists had, in 
certain instances weakened their case by complaining 
of the exaction of certain fees which not alone were 
really legal, but had all along been charged. The 
Governor was enabled to frame a more or less effective 
reply by virtue of the circumstance that there stood 
unrepealed in the placaat book many laws of oppressive 
stringency which had (even if ever enforced) fallen into 
complete disuse. Thus he endeavoured to show that 
he had in certain instances foregone the right to play 
the tyrant. He practically denied that the burghers 
had any rights whatever except what had been granted 
to them by the Company's grace. This peculiar vicAV 
he based upon the terms of the discharge certificate 
granted to soldiers and sailors who were permitted to 
leave the Company's service and become burghers, 
completely ignoring the circumstance that many of the 
burghers were immigrants who had never been in such 
service. The following is a specimen of the charters 
of burghership issued to men leaving the Company's 
employ : — 

" Joachim van Plettenberg, Governor of the Cape 
of Good Hope and its dependencies, greeting : Whereas 
Johan Hendrick Gans, of Lippolsberg, who arrived here 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 77 

in tlie year 1770, with the sliip Veldhocn, as soldier at 
the |)ay of nine guildeis ju'r month, hath by |3etition 
particularly requested of us to be discharged from the 
service of the Honourable Company and to be ap- 
pointed as burgher, having duly served the Honourable 

" Wherefore, Ave graciously grant his request to 
earn his livelihood here, or elsewhere within the 
colony, wuth his handicraft as a tailor; but that he 
shall not be allowed to abandon the same, or to adopt 
any other mode of living, unless he shall first have 
obtained special permission thereto from this Council, 
and that he shall not petition for any grant of land 
from the Honourable Company, which specially resei^ves 
the right and power, at any time when it may be 
deemed necessary, or whenever his conduct shall not 
be proper, to take him back into service in his old 
capacity and pay, and to transport him hence, if 
thought fit, further submitting him to all such pla- 
caats as have already, or may in future be enacted 
regarding freemen. 

" Done at the Castle of Good Hope, 
"September 5, 1780. 

"O. M. Bergh, Secretary." 

The contention that burghers who had previously 
been in the service of the Company could be forced 
back into such service, or deported, was thus in ac- 
cordance with law, but Fiscal Boers contended that 
the condition imposed upon the father could be ex- 
tended to the son, and as the Fiscal was the highest 
local legal autliority, this contention was acted upon 
in the case of men who made themselves inconvenient 
to the Administration. In his reply to the memorial, 
in dealing with this particular ix>int, Mr. Boers wrote — 

" I sacredly confess, that I cannot discern wherein 
the fine distinction and high preference of the rights 
of children above those of parents can reside." 

War having broken out between England and the 
Netherlands, the replies of the accused officials could 
not be transmitted for upwaixis of a year. Both tlie 
Governor and the Fiscal had retiuesteil jK»rmission to 
iHJsign their respective posts. The resiguatiou of Mr. 

78 A History of South Africa 

Boers was accepted at once, but he was required to 
furnish bail to the amount of £100 should he leave the 
colony before the charges made against him had been 
adjudicated upon. 

Recall of Governor van Plettenberg. — Towards the 
end of 1783 the committee which had been appointed 
by the Chamber of Seventeen furnished its report. Its 
terms were to the effect that the complaints had been 
made by only a section of the burghers, that the 
charges against the officials had not been proved, and 
that no changes either in the laws or in the methods 
of administering the affairs of the Colony should 
be made. Naturally, this caused great indignation. 
Other memorials embodying complaints were sent in. 
Eventually, in 1785, Governor van Plettenberg was 
recalled, on the pretext that an officer of military 
experience was required to fill the post of Governor of 
the Cape Colony. 

The First KaflBr War. — In 1779 there arose strife 
among the Bantu clans beyond the colonial boundary. 
A result of this was that several of these clans crossed 
the Fish River and took possession of large tracts in 
what is now the district of Somerset East, and in 
Lower Albany, Several commandos took the field 
against the intruders, defeated them, and captured 
large numbers of their cattle. However, the expulsion 
was not complete ; moreover, additional numbers of 
Natives poured in. In October, 1780, the Council of 
Policy appointed an experienced frontiersman, named 
Adriaan van Jaarsveld, as Commandant of the Eastern 
Frontier. In May of the following year van J aarsveld 
collected a commando and took the field. He formed 
two laagers, and then with a force of ninety-two 
burghers and forty Hottentots attacked the Bantu, 
utterly defeated and drove them across the boundary. 
This engagement took place on July 19. Over five 
thousand head of cattle were captured ; these were 
divided among the burghers. After some hesitation 
the Council of Policy endorsed this proceeding, but 
notified at the same time that their having done so 
was not to be taken as forming a precedent. Thus 
the first Kaffir War came to a close. Van Jaarsveld' s 
expedition marked the inception of the commando 
system as employed against the Bantu. 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 79 

A Defence Force enrolled. — In the mean time im- 
portant events, the effect of which was to be felt in 
South Africa, had been takinj< place in Euroiw. In 
December, 1780, England declared war against Holland 
and Prance. This only became known at the Cai)e on 
March 31 of the following year. The defences of the 
colony were in but a poor condition. The garrison 
nominally consisted of 530 soldiers, but upwards of 
one-fourth of these had been permitted to take service 
with farmers, and many were so far off that they could 
not be recalled to the colours without considerable 
delay. At Cape Town there were a number of civil 
servants, tradesmen, and free blacks who, though 
almost undrilled, were at least capable of bearing 
arms. The burghers at a distance were too constantly 
engaged in protecting their families and their property 
from Bushman marauders to admit of their reinforcing 
the Cape garrison. Moreover, the Bantu clans never 
for long respected the arrangement in terms of which 
they had to remain to the eastward of the Pisli River. 
Force, or persuasion backed by force, had continually 
to be exercised towards expelling them. But the 
burghers of Stellenbosch — a district very much more 
extensive then than it is now — responded to the 
Governor's call to arms, in spite of their hostility to 
him and to the local officials. Half of the Stellenbosch 
contingent joined the garrison for a month, and was 
then relieved by the other half. 

In the mean time — in anticipation of an attempt 
being made by England to seize the Cape — six India- 
men were sent for supposed safety to Saldanha Bay. 
Several other vessels were removed to Hout Bay, at 
the mouth of which a battery of twenty guns was 
mounted for their protection. 

French and English Fleets. — In May came definite 
intelligence that a French fleet and a strong force of 
ti*oops were to be sent to protect Cape Town from the 
common enemy. It had been made known in France by 
a spy that an expedition to the Cape on the part of the 
English was in course of preparation. In March, 1781, 
this expedition, under the command of Commodore 
Johnstone, set forth. It consisted of forty-six sail — men- 
of-war, transports, storeships, etc. It put into Porto 
Prayo, in the Cape Verde Islands, for the purpose of 

8o A History of South Africa 

getting a supply of water. While so engaged it was 
surprised by a French fleet under Commodore de 
SuiTren. The English were taken by surprise, but 
made a gallant fight. The result was practically a 
drawn battle. The French got away on their course 
to the Cape, and the English were unable to overtake 

Capture of Indiamen in Saldanha Bay. — When near 
the Cape the English Commodore captured a Dutch 
Indiaman, which, in addition to a valuable cargo, 
contained £40,000. He then SAvooped down upon 
Saldanha Bay, and captured the Indiamen which had 
there taken refuge. These had been fired and aban- 
doned by their crews. In the case of five, the fires 
were put out without any difficulty. The sixth was 
destroyed. These vessels were richly laden, and their 
loss was a severe blow to the Dutch East India Com- 
pany. Commodore Johnstone, feeling unable to attack 
the Cape with any chance of success, returned to 
England with his prizes. The troops belonging to the 
expedition were sent to India under strong convoy. 
The French garrison occupied the Cape until 1784, 
when it was transferred to Mauritius. In the same 
year a treaty of peace was concluded between England 
and Holland. The ocean route to India was now 
formally thrown open to the English. 

Wreck of the " Grosvenor." — Among the many 
wrecks with Avhich the coast of South Africa has been 
strown, none have appealed more pitifully to the 
general imagination than that of the Grosvenor. This 
vessel belonged to the English East India Company. 
She sailed from Trincomalee on June 13, 1782, with 150 
people on board, inclusive of the crew and passengers. 
Among the latter were several ladies and children. 
On August 4 the vessel struck a rock on the coast of 
Pondoland and became a wreck. All on board, with 
the exception of fourteen, managed to reach the shore. 
The men h^d no Aveapons, except a few cutlasses, so 
were unable to resist the attempts made by the natives 
to rob them. Breaking up into small parties, the 
unhappy waifs endeavoured to walk to the Cape. 
Nearly four months later, six of the sailors reached 
Algoa Bay. Upon intelligence of the disaster arriving 
at Cape Town, the Council at once organised an 

The Cape Colony under Dutch Rule 8i 

♦ 'Xpeclition to search for survivors. Near the Fish River 
three more sailors and a lascar were met with. Beyond 
the Kei River the exi>edition had to turn back on 
account of hostility on the part of the Tembus. Before 
doing so, however, six lascars and two black female 
servants of the lady passengers were found. From the 
accounts gathered, there can hardly be any doubt that 
all the others had either been slain by the natives or 
else had died of hunger and exix)sure. 

Unknown White Women found among the Bantu. — 
Eight years afterwards a report reached Cape Town 
to the effect that some white women were living among 
the natives near the Umzimvubu River. It was assumed 
that these were survivors from the Grosvenor, so an 
expedition was sent to rescue them. At a large village 
occupied by people of mixed blood, three ancient 
European women were found. But they could speak 
no intelligible language except the Kaffir, and had no 
idea as to their history. One was named Bessie, so the 
inference is that they were English. But the mysteiy 
as to what wrecked vessel had cast them ashore could 
not be solved. As they expressed no desire to return 
with the expedition, they were left at the kraal where 
t hey were found. 

(To 1805) 

The First British Occupation 

GoYernor van de Graaff. — A military officer, Colonel 
Cornelis Jacob van de Graaff, was appointed to succeed 
Governor van Plettenberg. He assumed duty in 1785 
and held office for six and a half years. 

His Character. — This Governor appears to have 
been unfitted in almost every respect for his post. 
He was of a grasping nature, but most extravagant 
where the resources of the colony were concerned. 
He was violent, arbitrary, and headstrong, and possessed 
little or no business capacity. The growing needs of 
the Colony were ignored ; the inevitable expansion 
north-eastward called imperatively for administrative 
changes — for measures to meet the new conditions — 
but the call was unheeded. 

Another Deputation to Holland. — In 1785 another 
deputation was sent to Holland for the purpose of 
explaining the situation to the Supreme Executive and 
obtaining redress, but the members of the deputation 
quarrelled among themselves and thus weakened 
their influence. 

Cape Town Garrison. — In 1787 the Amsterdam 
Battery in Table Bay was completed and received its 
armaments ; on the first trial of the latter a gun burst, 
killing two men and wountiing several others. Towards 
the end of the year a regiment of mercenaries, two 
thousand strong, Avhich had been recruited in Wltrtem- 
berg, arrived at the Cape and relieved a Swiss regiment, 
which was transferred to Ceylon. The strength of the 
garrison at the castle was then about three thousand ; 
the artillery was believed to be more than ordinarily 
proficient, more especially in the use of red-hot shot. 

The First British Occupation 83 

Graaif Reinet founded. In 178(5 the new district 
of Graaff Keiiiet, named in honour of the Governor 
and his wife, was formed. It was of immense extent, 
comprising some twenty present existing districts. It 
inchided all the country on the coast between the 
Gamtoos to the Pish Rivers, and extended westward 
to the Zwartbergen and the Nieuwveld Ranges. Its 
only definite northward boundary was the beacon 
which had been planted near the present site of Coles- 
berg by Governor van Plettenberg ; the drostdy, form- 
ing the nucleus of the new village, was erected on an 
irrigable plain a little over two square miles in extent, 
which lay in a loop of the Sundays River, almost sur- 
rounded by high, abrupt mountains. The soil here 
l^roved exceedingly productive and soon supported a 
thriving vineyard industry. It was not until 1792 
that a minister of religion was appointed to the 

The Bushmen. — The conditions under which the 
European inhabitants in the district of Graaff Reinet 
existed were difficult in the extreme. The wide bounds 
contained many lofty and rugged mountain ranges, 
in the fastnesses of which lawless bands of Bushmen 
lurked. These p)eople were true Ishmaelites ; they 
preyed indifferently upon European, Bantu, and Hot- 
tentot. Having no tribal organisation, and conse- 
quently no central authority, they could only be dealt 
with through the process of extermination. No farmer 
ever dared to leave his homestead unprotected ; people 
never ventured abroad unarmed. 

Trouble with the Bantu in the Zuurveld. — Fi-esh 
troubles soon arose with the Bantu, whose almost 
continuous series of south-westward migrations co- 
incided with the European expansion towards the 
north-east. In March, 1789, a horde of Kaffirs of the 
Xosa tribe, under their chiefs, Langa and Cungwa, 
violated the agreement which had been entered into 
in 1778 by crossing the Fish River and seizing the 
Zuurveld. The European farmers occupying that 
region fell back, but were unable to avoid losing a 
considerable number of their cattle. The landdrost of 
Graaff Reinet instnicted the burgher captain, Daniel 
Kuhne, to assemble a commando for the defence of 
the district, and reported the circumstances by express 

84 A History of South Africa 

to Cape To^^n, re(j[uestiiig at the same time that one 
hundred soldiers might be dispatched to his assistance. 
But the Council decided against hostilities and censured 
the landdrost for the most justifiable measures he had 
taken. Captain Kuhne had actually driven the in- 
vaders back to the Fish River, when imperative in- 
structions to abandon the campaign reached him. He 
accordingly retreated with his followers, who were 
indignant and almost mutinous. None of the cattle 
which had been looted were recovered. For some time 
the Kaffirs refused to retire ; then a rumour gained 
ground to the effect that the Swellendam burghers 
were going into laager, so the Kaffirs suddenly fled — 
not alone across the boundary, but into the fastnesses 
of the Amatole Mountains. However, a few months 
later they returned to the Zuurveld, where they re- 
mained under tacit permission. 

The Second Kaffir War. — In 1793 the farmers re- 
maining in the Zuurveld adopted the desperate ex- 
pedient of asking aid from Ndhlambi, the Bantu chief 
located east of the Fish River, against the clan 
of Langa. In the operations which followed, eight 
hundred head of cattle were captured and divided 
between Ndhlambi' s people and the farmers ; but 
reinforcements for Langa poured in from eastw ard, and 
eventually Ndhlambi changed sides. The result was 
the abandonment of over one hundred farms east of the 
Kowie River, and the loss to the farmers of immense 
numbers of stock. 

A Futile Campaign. — Commandos were again called 
out both from Swellendam and Graaff Reinet, and a 
fresh campaign was undertaken. This, however, ended 
in almost complete failure ; but little of the looted 
stock was recovered, and the commando eventually 
dispersed, leaving the greater part of the Zuurveld in 
l)OSsession of the enemy. 

Loss of Confidence in the Administration. — Under 
such circumstances it was inevitable that the adminis- 
tration at Cape Town should rapidly lose its hold on 
the country districts. Crushing monopolies, paper 
money Avhich was practically non-negotiable, neglect and 
general misgovernment had their inevitable results. 
Taxes remained largely unpaid and general lawlessness 
became rife. A spirit of mistrust of all central authority 

The First British Occupation 85 

bt'came deeply inKt'«i»t^<l in the people; traces of this 
spirit are still to be seen to-day. 

French ReYolutionary Ideas gain Ground. — The 
inhabitants of all the outlying districts became imbued 
with revolutionary sentiments, which they imbibed from 
French and Netherland emigrants. One noted exixnient 
of the philosophy of Voltaire and Rousseau w'as Mr. 
Honoratius Maynier, secretary for the district, who 
subsecpiently held the apiK>intment of landdrost. Mr. 
Maynier held the erroneous view that all the depreda- 
tions of the Bantu were due to aggression on the part 
of the farmers. This opinion later became a lasting 
obsession with an influential party and was productive 
of nuich mischief for more than half a century. 

Decline of the Dutch East India Company. — In 
the mean time the Dutch East India Company was 
sinking more and more hopelessly towards insolvency. 
The Cape had never paid its way ; now it was costing 
the depleted Central Exchequer over £90,000 per 
annum. The Revenue had risen from about £17,000 
in 1788 to nearly £29,000 in 1791, but at this rate of 
increase there was no prospect of overtaking the deficit, 
for the expenditure was also growing. Work on the 
fortifications was stopped ; the Wiirtemberg Regiment 
was removed. Other drastic measures of retrenchment 
followed. On June 24, 1791, Governor van de Graaff, 
who had been i-ecalled, after long hesitation obeyed the 
orders of the Company and left Cape Town for the 
Xetherlands. During the ensuing year the government 
of the colony was carried on by the secunde, Johan 
Isaac Rhenius. According to a census taken in 1781, 
the European population of the Colony, exclusive of 
soldiers and their families, amounted to 13,523. The 
slaves of all ages and sexes numbere<:l 17,392; of the 
latter upwards of 11,000 were adult males. At this 
period the average annual number of ships which called 
at the Cai)e was about 104. 

Expedition to Namaqualand.— In September, 1791, 
an exploring expedition, under (me Willem van Reenen, 
traversed Great Namaqualand and reached a ix)int 
considerably farther north than had been previously 
attained by any Euro])ean. It was this exiKnlition 
which fii-st came in contact with the Damaras and the 
Berg DamaravS, the latter being Bantu waifs, whuse 

86 A History of South Africa 

habits were those of Bushmen and who spoke a Hotten- 
tot dialect. 

Copper Ore. — The ostensible object of the expedition 
was a search for gold. No gold was found, but deposits 
of copper ore, specimens of which were taken to Cape 
Town, were discovered. In 1793 another exjoedition 
Avas sent by sea northward along the Namaqualand 
coast, and a beacon, bearing the arms of the Company, 
was set up on Possession Island. 

Commissioners Nederburg and Frickenius.— In June, 
1792, two Commissioners, Advocate Sebastiaan Cornells 
Nederburg, and Captain Simon Hendrick Frickenius, of 
the Netherlands Navy, were sent to the Cape under a 
commission empowering them to correct abuses, institute 
reforms, and organise a scheme of retrenchment. 
Further, they were instructed to assume the adminis- 
tration of the colony. The Commissioners found affairs 
in a very critical condition. Upon arrival they were 
met by the Burgher Councillors, w ho voiced the general 
discontent, and demanded that certain taxes should be 
repealed. Memorials to the same effect poured in. 
Drastic retrenchments and a readjustment of taxation 
followed. Certain items in the schedule were very 
unpopular, more especially a tax on the proceeds of 
auction sales. For a month after the imposition of this 
import all such sales were suspended, but eventually 
they were resumed. 

Retrenchment and Taxation. — The result of the 
readjustment of revenue and expenditure was to reduce 
the annual deficit from .£92,000 to £27,000, but the 
wholesale retrenchment reacted severely on the general 
prosperity. Property became practically valueless and 
people were unable to meet their liabilities. 

Paper Money.— To relieve the distress, a Loan Bank 
was established ; paper money, to the face value of over 
£135,000, was issued and declared a legal tender, but 
such being inconvertible, although it eased the pressure 
upon individuals in some instances, did not bring about 
any general improvement. 

One flagrant instance of the purblind policy of the 
Company towards those under its sway, was in con- 
nection with the whaling industry. In this many 
English and American vessels were employed, while 
the colonists were precluded from engaging in it. In 

The First British Occupation 87 

1792 colonists were i>erinitted, under variuiiH niouo)>(>- 
list restrictions, to capture whales and exixjrt the 
resultant oil. 

Moravians again at Genadendal. — In December, 1792, 
a tract of land at Baviaan's Kloof was granted to the 
Moravian Society. Three missionaries established them- 
selves at a spot which they named Genadendal, on the 
site where George Schmidt had laboured sixty years 
Ijefoi-e. A very old Hottentot woman, who came tot- 
tering to the first service, turned out to be one whom 
Schmidt had baptised as a young girl ; she was still in 
lx)ssession of the Bible that he had given to her. This 
relic is still reverently preserved by the Society. The 
Consistory at Stellenbosch was strongly opposed to 
Genadendal and approached the Council of Policy with 
complaints as to its alleged misdeeds. One grievance 
was that the ringing of the church bell at Genadendal 
disturbed the devotions of the Stellenbosch congrega- 
tion. This complaint resulted in an order prohibiting 
the use of the Genadendal bell on Sundays. The two 
places are, as the crow flies, upwards of thirty miles 

CommissioneF Sluysken.— In September, 1793, the 
Commissioners- Geneial departed for- Java. Before leav- 
ing they handed over the charge of the colony to Mr. 
Abraham Josias Sluysken, an official of the Company, 
who had been stationed at Surat, but who was now 
proceeding to Europe for the benefit of his health. He 
was given the title of Commissioner-General. Mr. 
Sluysken was a sound business man of grave demeanour 
and considerable taciturnity ; he had had no military 

Jacobinism. — It was a difficult environment in which 
the Commissioner found himself. Jacobinism and the 
gospel of " The Rights of Man " had penetrated to South 
Africa and largely leavened the mass of the Euroix?an 
inhabitants. The misgovernment under which the 
l>eople laboured, the absence of any protection for the 
ti-ontier, and the general financial depression, brought 
public feeling to a pitch at which an explosion was 

Insurrection at Graaff Reinet. — An insuri*ection 
broke out at Graall Keinet in 1795. The district con- 
ttuned some three thousand inhabittints — men, women, 

88 A History of South Africa 

and children — urban and rural. The great majority 
were opposed to the Government and dubbed them- 
selves the "Nationalists." A "National Assembly" 
was founded with one Adriaan van Jaarsveld at its 
head ; tricolour badges were assumed. The district of 
Swellendam also declared its independence. There a 
body termed " The National Convention of the Colony 
of Swellendam" came into being. From both Graaff 
Reinet and Swellendam the Comi^any's officials were 
expelled and local men appointed in their places. Stel- 
lenbosch seethed Avith revolutionary feeling, but did 
not follow the lead of the outlying districts. 

ArriYal of an English Fleet. — When excitement Avas 
at its greatest height, the English Fleet arrived and 
cast anchor in Simon's Bay. 

France at War with Great Britain and the Nether- 
lands. — The French Republic, Avhich succeeded the 
monarchy destroyed by the Great Revolution, had 
declared Avar upon Great Britain and the Netherlands 
in 1793. This declaration, it was explained, Avas 
against the kings, but not the peoples, of the respective 

Political Division in Holland. — In Holland a great 
political change had taken place ; the people became 
divided into two parties. One adhered to the House of 
Orange ; the other became Repviblican. The members 
of the latter dubbed themselves " The Patriots." This 
party, Avith the assistance of the French, gaining the 
upper hand, the Republic of the United Netherlands 
Avas abolished, and the Batavian Republic established 
in its stead. 

Flight of the Stadtholder.— The Stadtholder fled to 

He hands Cape Colony over to Great Britain. — 
The British Government determined that the Cape of 
Good Hope— the gate to the East — should not fall into 
the hands of the French. The Stadtholder, by his 
mandate, handed the Cape Colony over to British 

Expedition under Elphinstone and Craig. — In pur- 
suance of this mandate the British Fleet, under Admiral 
Elphinstone, AA^as despatched to Table Bay. It carried 
a military force of some 1600 men, under General Craig. 

Muster of the Burghers. — Commissioner Sluysken 

The First British Occupation 89 

refused to <)lK>y the Stadtliolder's maiulaU;. The forces 
available for defence amounted to alK>ut 1250 men, 
commanded by Colonel Gordcm. Thej^e included mercen- 
ary European troops as well as a corps of "Pennists" 
(clerks and Company's officials), and " Pandours ** 
(coloured men enrolled and drilled). The burghers were 
called up and responded to the call. Swellendam sent 
its contingent, but Graaff Reinet was too remote and 
too much exposed to attacks from Bantu and Bushmen 
to admit of men being despatched from there. 

Arrival of British Reinforcements. — Some desul- 
tory fighting, of no particular significance, ensued. In 
August British reinforcements of infantry and artillery 
came from St. Helena. On September 3 a fleet of 
transiKjrts with 3000 troops, under General Alured 
Clarke, arrived. 

Capitulation of Cape Town.— End of the Dutch East 
India Company's Rule. — Resistance was noAv hopeless. 
On September 15, 1795, the Dutch authorities capitu- 
lated. The rule of the Dutch East India Company of 
South Africa was at an end. 

Administration of General Craig. — Admiral Elphin- 
stone and Generals Clarke and Craig conjointly assumed 
the reins of Government on September 16, and held 
them for a month. Then Major-General James Henry 
Craig assumed sole command. One of his first adniinis- 
trative acts was to guai'antee the paper currency, of 
which a little more than a quarter of a million was in 
circidation. A rate of exchange was also fixed. A 
Board, termed the Burgher's Senate, was established 
in place of the Committee of the High Court of Justice, 
which was abolished. This Board consisted of six 
members, and exercised generally the functions of 
an executive council. A proclamation was issued 
enacting a modification of the tariff of dues payable 
upon auction sales. 

Submission of the Burghers. — These measures were 
l)oi)ular and tended to reconcile the colonists towards 
the change. The burghers of the Cape and Stellen- 
lx)sch soon accepted the new regime. Upon an amnesty 
being offered, Swellendam submitted. Graaff Reinet, 
however, still insisted uiK>n maintaining its inde- 

An oath of allegiance to the King of England — " for 

90 A History of South Africa 

so long a time as His Majesty shall reinaiii in possession 
of the colony" — was imposed upon officials. Those 
unwilling to take the oath left the country. 

Attempt to retake the Cape.— In February, 1796, 
a fleet of nine ships of war, under Admiral Lucas, was 
despatched from Texel for the purpose of retaking the 
Cape from the British. A fortnight later a French 
squadron set sail from Rochefort. It was intended 
that these forces should act in concert. But the French 
vessels completely outsailed the Dutch, and after pick- 
ing up a few minor prizes in the vicinity of the Cape, 
proceeded to Mauritius. 

Dutch Fleet captured at Saldanha Bay. — The Dutch 
Fleet put into Saldanha Bay for water. Intelligence of 
its arrival was conveyed overland to the Cape, where 
the British naval force had been considerably aug- 
mented. A strong military contingent was sent to 
Saldanha Bay overland and a fleet of fourteen warships 
despatched at the same time. The Dutch Fleet was 
now hopelessly outnumbered ; moreover, the crews of 
several of the ships were in a state of mutiny. So 
Admiral Lucas surrendered. The effect of this failure 
was to dishearten thoroughly those of the colonists 
who desired the Netherlands connection. 

Submission of Graaff Reinet. — Graaff Reinet, cut off 
from its stores of ammunition supplies, and after a 
military expedition had been sent to coerce it, aban- 
doned the idea of independence and submitted to 
British rule — but further trouble arose there from time 
to time. 

Another Insurrection. — Yan Jaarsveld. — Two years 
later Adriaan van Jaarsveld, who had been prominent 
in the previous insurrection, having been arrested for 
defying a summons to appear before a court of law 
on a criminal charge, was rescued by a commando of 
his friends. Again a number of people took up arms 
and defied the Government, but the rebels were com- 
pelled to surrender to a military force. The prisoners 
taken on this occasion were kept for fifteen months in 
the Castle before being brought to trial, and Avere 
treated Avith great severity. Eventually some wei*e 
sentenced to death and others to banishment. The 
death sentences were remitted ; the other sentences 
were kept in suspension until after the retrocession of 

The First British Occupation 91 

the colony to the Bataviaii authorities in 1803. Van 
Jaarsveld died in prison. 

Lord Macartney as GoYernor. — Lord Macartney 
was appointed Governor of the Cai)e Colony shortly 
att« r intelligence of its capitulation had been received, 
lie assumed duty on May 5, 1797, and held office until 
near the end of the following year. In this appoint- 
ment the British Administration made an unfortunate 

His Tyrannical Administration. — The new Governor 
was an old man and suffered from bad health. He was 
one who shared to the full the convictions of those who 
were most passionately opposed to all — good as well as 
evil — that the Fi*ench Revolution stood for. Liberalism 
in any form he regarded as rank Jacobinism, a thing to 
be mercilessly crushed. Persons suspected of Republi- 
can tendencies were punished by having soldiers billeted 
upon them. Speech was less free during the adminis- 
tration of this Governor than under the most arbitraiy 
of his predecessors. A new and unqualified oath of 
allegiance was substituted for the qualified one imposed 
at the time of the capitulation. Those who objected to 
taking it were, when not banished from the country, 
subjected to the dragonnade. 

Extravagance. — The promises made by General Craig 
to the effect that free trade would be established and 
that monopolies should cease, were not fulfilled. The 
administration was most costly and extravagant. The 
Governor's emoluments amounted to £12,000 per annum. 
Seven of his immediate subordinates drew stipends 
aggregating to a similar amount. However, one most 
salutary change was made: minor Government officials 
were given regular salaries instead of being constrained 
to renumerate themselves by means of fees. 

The Third Kaffir War.— On the eastern frontier 
matters remained in a most unsatisfactory condition. 
The Bantu Natives continued their encroachments. 
The mistaken policy of conciliation was followed. This 
was correctly regarded by the Bantu as evidence of 
weakness. The third Kaffir War broke out in 1799. 
It arose out of a quarrel between the Xosa chief, 
Graika, and his inicle, Ndhlambi. The latter ci*os8ed the 
Colonial boundary and, joined by a number of Hotten- 
tots, ravaged the eastern jx^rtion of the Colony as far 


A History of South Africa 

as the Long Kloof in the present district of Humans- 
dorp. Once more the unfortunate frontier farmers 
were murdered, i^illaged and plundered. Once more a 
force was despatched against the invading Bantu ; 
again a settlement was arrived at without any satis- 
faction being obtained from the enemy. 

Building of Fort Frederick at Algoa Bay. — One 
result of this outbreak Avas the erection of a stone 

From Cory's " The Rise of South Africa." By permission.'] 

IN 1799. 

fortress which was named Fort Frederick, on a high 
bluff overlooking the mouth of the river and the 
landing-place at Algoa Bay. Here 150 soldiers were 
stationed. Fort Frederick still stands, its outer walls 
intact. This building is of considerable interest, as 
being the first permanent stone structure erected in 
the Eastern Province of the Cape Colony. 

More Turmoil at Graaff Reinet. — Mr. Honoratius 
Maynier arranged the terms of peace. He it was who 

The First British Occupation 93 

had licld the post of hiiidch'ost at Grnatt' Reinet with 
sucli unrortuiiate consiKnuMices. In the ternis of the 
settlement, the Bantu were allowed to oceui)y the lands 
they had invaded. As a reward for his supposed services 
Mr. Maynier was app<jinted Comniissioner for the 
districts of Swellendani and Graaff Reinet — a most 
imi>(>rtant post, but one for which he was totally 
unfitted. The result of this step was renewed turmoil 
at Grmiff Reinet, which culminated in the usual 
insurrection. This only subsided upon the Com- 
missioner being removed. 

Attempt at Settlement of Bushmen. — In 1798 
an attemjit was made to effect a settlement between 
the Europeans and the Bushmen. A number of the 
latter agreed to occupy the land Avhich was beyond the 
north-eastern boundary of the Colony and devote 
themselves to stock-breeding. Towards this end a 
number of sheep and cattle were contributed by 
farmers and handed over to the wild men. But the 
experiment failed ; the Bushmen, having no tribal 
organisation, could not be controlled. Only those 
individuals who actually owned stock would abide by 
the agreement. The experiment came finally to an end 
when the Bushmen stockowners were plundered by the 
wilder Bushmen from the north. 

The London Missionary Society. — In 1799 the 
London Missionary Society began its operations in 
South Africa. The celebrated (or notorious) Dr. van 
der Kemp was one of the first missionaries. He 
endeavoured to establish himself in Gaika's country* 
but, finding the difficulties there insurmountable, 
proceeded to Graaff Reinet and laboured at christianis- 
ing the Hottentots. Dr. van der Kemp some few years 
afterwaix^ls purchased a black slave girl and married 

Dr. Yan der Kemp.— Graaff Reinet at this time 
liad become an asylum for Hottentot waifs. These un- 
happy ptiople, between the upi)er and the nether mill- 
stones of the Euroi)ean and the Bantu, were in a sorry 
case. Dispossessed of their land, unfitted by their 
exclusively nomadic life for a settled existence, it is not 
to be wondered at that they took to marauding. Later, 
in 1802, the Government granted a site in the vicinity 
of Algoa Bay to the Loudon Missionary Society, and 

94 A History of South Africa 

thither Dr. van der Kemp, accompanied by two other 
missionaries, named Read and van der Lingen, pro- 
ceeded with several hundred Hottentots. Thus the 
mission station at Bethelsdorp came to be established. 
It was a spot destined in after years to become a storm 
centre of conflicting ideals. Whatever mistakes Dr. 
van der Kemp and his colleagues may have made, there 
can be no doubt that their unsuccessful attempts to 
conserve the remnants of the Hottentot race w^ere 
dictated by the purest philanthropy. However, the 
adoption of settled industrial pursuits was quite 
foreign to the nature and proclivities of the Hottentot. 
Even while on the road to the new settlements most 
of the men of the party deserted and recommenced 

Hostilities with Hottentots and Bantu. — In 
February, 1802, an attack was made by a Swellendam 
commando upon some Hottentot marauders kraalled 
near the mouth of the Sundays River. The Bantu of 
the Zuurveld joined the Hottentots. Once more the 
Border blazed, and the country was soon laid waste as 
far Avestward as the site of the present village of 

Sir George Young as Governor. — In November, 
1798, Lord Macartney left the Colony and handed over 
the reins of government to Major Dundas, who held 
office as Acting-Governor until December, 1799, when 
Sir George Young arrived and took the oaths of 

His Misdemeanours. — No one less suited to the post 
ever held the position of Governor of South Africa ; in 
April, 1801, he was dismissed ; subsequent investigations 
convicted him of corruption and many other mis- 
demeanours. One of the most serious of the latter was 
connected with the issue of letters of marque to a 
privateer vessel. The inquiry into this matter w^as 
advisedly abandoned before the bottom had been 
reached, but enough was revealed to show that some- 
thing not very different from piracy had been practised 
under the Governor's authority. 

Lord Glenbervie was appointed to succeed Sir 
George Young, but as he never assumed the duties of 
his office. Major -General Dundas held the appointment 
of Acting-Governor until the retrocession of the Colony 

The First British Occupation 95 

to the Batavian authorities in IHO'S. During this 
period conditions on the frontier did not materially 
improve, and it is a matter for marvel that the 
Europeans, neglected, hampered, misunderstood and 
misgovcriied as they were, managed to hold their own. 

Captain Adam Kok. — One result of the Bantu and 
Hottentot depredations on the eastern frontier was a 
scarcity of meat in Cape Town; With the object of 
tapping a fresh source of supply, an expedition, under 
the joint conmiand of Mr. Pieter Truter, a member of 
the High Court of Justice, and Dr. Somerville, started 
from Cape Town in October, 1801, and penetrated the 
Bechuana country as far as Lithako. The party 
returned to Cape Town in April, 1802, with 212 head of 
cattle. On their course the travellers had come into 
contact with various wandering hordes of Hottentots 
and half-breeds. One of these was led by a man called 
Adam Kok, who subsequently rose into prominence as 
a Captain of the Griqua Clan. 

Afrikaner's Freebooters. — Under his command an 
expedition was organised against a band of robbers led 
by one Afrikaner, who for some years had been carry- 
ing on serious depredations from his lair among the 
islands of the Orange River. The robbers escaped, but 
over three hundred head of cattle, as well as other 
spoil, was i-ecovered from them. 

Early in 1802 the Treaty of Amiens was signed, and 
in accordance with its terms a proclamation was issued 
at Cape Town on February 20, 1803, releasing the 
inhabitants from their oath of allegiance to the British 
King. At this time the inhabitants of the Cape and 
Stellenbosch districts and of the western portion of the 
district of Swellendam enjoyed a sufficient degree of 
prosi^erity. The breeds of horses and cattle had been 
much imi)roved. Young farmers took great pride in 
their riding horses and their long teams of draught 
oxen, each team composed of animals of the same 
colour. Most of the Europeans lived in sober comfort. 
Luxury was hardly known ; simplicity was the rule of 
life. Hospitality, sincere and luiostentatious, was 
almost universally practised. 

Commissioner de Mist. — In anticipation of the formal 
act of retrocession, Mr. Jacob Abraham Uitenhage 
de Mist, a distinguished advocate at the Netherlands 

96 A History of South Africa 

Bar, was sent to the Cajje in a warship named the 
Bato. Mr. de Mist had been entrusted with the work 
of drawing up a phm of government for the Cape 
Colony. He was thereupon appointed Commissioner- 
General to take the Colony over and to instal as the 
Governor Lieutenant - General Jan Willem Janssens, 
who, with a staff of officials, accompanied him. Trans- 
ports carrying troops w ith store-ships and escort w ere 
despatched at the same time ; other transports followed 

Retrocession of the Cape. — The Bato arrived at 
Table Bay on December 23, 1802, and arrangements 
were made for the handing over of the Castle to the 
Batavian authorities on the evening of the 31st. But 
at noon on that day a British sloop of war arrived 
with a despatch, instructing General Dundas to delay 
the transfer. A very awkward situation was thus 
created, and matters remained in a condition of painful 
suspense until February 19, when a further despatch 
arrived, with instructions that the transfer was to be 
proceeded with. Accordingly the Batavian soldiers 
relieved the British guards on the evening of the 
following day, and on the 21st the Batavian flag flew 
over the Castle. 

Governor Janssens. — On the morning of March 1 
a service of thanksgiving for the restoration of the 
Colony was held in all the churches. At noon the new 
Governor was installed in the hall of the Castle. An 
amnesty in respect of political offences w as proclaimed ; 
this did not include the Graaff* Reinet rebels, who, how- 
ever, were released on the last day of the month, after 
spending nearly four years in prison. Officers of the 
public service retained their posts. 

He visits the Eastern Districts. — On April 3 the 
new Governor left for the eastern districts. He pro- 
ceeded to Algoa Bay, where Major von Gilten and 
150 men had arrived by sea and were occupying Fort 
Frederick. Here the Governor endeavoured to effect a 
settlement in connection with the Hottentots. To- 
wards this end he made a formal grant of the site of 
Bethelsdorp, which is about four miles from Algoa Bay, 
to the London Missionary Society. A meeting with 
Ndhlambi and the other Xosa chiefs occupying the 
Zuurveld was held at the Sundays River. Thence the 

The First British Occupation 97 

Gowi-nor ]iroeeeded to the Kat River and had a confer- 
ence with (Tjiika. Efforts were nimle towards adjust- 
ing the differences between the latter and his uncle, 
Xdhlambi. These two were at deadly enmity, and this 
was one of the causes of the constantly recurring 
trouble on the frontier. After this meeting the 
(lovernor proceeded northward. When close to the 
present site of Colesberg, he was overtaken by a 
despatch with news of the fresh rupture between Great 
Britain and Prance. So he hastened back to Cai>eTown 
for the purpose of organising the defences of the 
colony in view of probable contingencies. 

Districts of Tulbagh and Uitenhage founded. — 
In October Commissioner-General de Mist started on a 
-tate tour, in the course of which he visited the Tulbagh 
Hasin, Genadendal, Algoa Bay, and Graaff Reinet. It 
was decided to form two new districts, one the district 
of Tulbagh, embracing the immense tract lying north 
of the district of Swellendam ; this extended to the 
northern boundary of the Colony and included the area 
lying between the Atlantic coast and the course of the 
Gamka River from the Nieuwveld Mountains to the 
Zwartbergen. The other new district was formed out 
of an extensive tract which included nine field cornet- 
cies, five taken from the southern portion of Graaff 
Reinet and four from the eastern portion of Swellen- 
dam. This district was named Uitenhage, in honour of 
the Commissioner. A farm about twenty miles from 
the mouth of the Zwaartkops was purchased as a site 
for the new drostdy. 

Beneficial Reforms. — The administrative measures 
under the new regime called for nothing but praise. 
Agriculture was encouraged, and the breed of sheep was 
improved by the introduction of Spanish rams; an 
expert in wine-making was brought from Eui-ope. 
Libei-ty of conscience in religious matters was secui-ed 
by an ordinance, and the preix)sterous law, in terms of 
wliich ijersons desirous of marrying had to attend at 
Cai)e Town — even from the most remote parts — was 
modified. Thenceforth any landdrost with two heem- 
raden forme<l a Matrimonial Court. An attempt was 
made to establish a system of secular education, but 
this had to be abandoned owing to opi)osition on the 
part of the farmers — who absolutely refused to 


98 A History of South Africa 

countenance any system of instruction not based on 
religion — to lack of funds, and to the difficulty of 
obtaining teachers. 

Reforms in the administration of justice were also 
introduced, through enactments defining, amplifying, 
and regulating the powers and functions of landdrosts, 
their honorary assistants, the heemraden, and the field 
cornets. The latter were officers placed respectively in 
charge of the Avards into which the various districts 
were divided, and who, in addition to the duty of 
mustering the burghers when required for military 
duty, acted as intermediary between the landdrost and 
the people and assisted generally in the administration 
of the laws. A weekly post was established between 
Cape ToAvn and the drostdies of Stellenbosch and 
Tulbagh. Post-bags were also sent to the other drost- 
dies when the occasion demanded. The northern 
boundary of the Colony was now more or less accurately 

A Census. — According to the census of 1805, the 
European population of the Colony, exclusive of soldiers, 
was 25,757 ; the number of slaves was 29,545 ; Cape Town 
contained 1258 houses and stores and had a population 
of 6273 Europeans, 1130 Asiatics and free blacks, 9129 
slaves, and 452 Hottentots. 

(To 1814) 

The Second British Occupation 

War again between Great Britain and France.— Within 
three months of the retrocession of the Cape Colony, 
hostilities between Great Britain and France broke out 
anew. The Batavian Republic and France were now so 
closely connected that war against one inevitably meant 
war against the other. 

British Expedition to the Cape.— Accordingly, in 
July, 1805, Lord Castlereagh, who was Secretary of 
Sttite for War and the Colonies, despatched a force, 
luider Major-General Sir David Baird, to take posses- 
sion of the Cape. The number of troops of all arms 
was 6654. This force was conveyed and convoyed by 
sixty-one vessels in all, under the command of Com- 
modore Sir Home Popham. 

General Janssens, anticipating Great Britain's action, 
had done his utmost towards placing the defences of 
the Colony upon an effective footing. But the means 
at his command were very meagre. The garrison was 
quite inadequate — a circumstance which he had forcibly 
lK)inted out to his Government; money was scarcer 
than ever. However, the burghers were assiduously 
drilled. Hottentots were enrolled in an infantry regi- 
ment six hundred strong. A number of Malays and other 
Asiatics in Cape Town were formed into an artillery 
corps. At the end of 1805 there were over fifteen 
hundi»ed European troops available. 

During the later days of December, intelligence 
received from various sources made it clear that the 
arrival of the British expedition might be looked for 
any day. On January 4, 1806, the hostile fleet arrived. 
It anchored between Robben Island and the eastern 

loo A History of South Africa 

shore of Table Bay. Next day the surf ran so high that 
it was ahuost decided to land the force at Saldanha 
Bay ; in fact, two regiments, one of infantry and the 
other of dragoons, were despatched there. But in the 
afternoon the sea became less rough, so the main force, 
instead of following, landed at Melkbosch Point, near 
the foot of the small range of hills known as the 
Blaauwberg. There was only one serious mishap : a 
boat capsized, and the thirty-six men of the 93rd Regi- 
ment which it contained were drowned. One man was 
killed and four wounded by a small detachment of 
burghers firing from the sandhills. 

Battle of Blaauwberg. — Next morning the British, 
some four thousand strong, started on their march round 
the curve of the Bay towards Cape Town. As it de- 
scended the southern slope of the Blaauwberg, the 
Dutch force could be seen extended inland from the shore 
across the whole front, awaiting the British attack. 
The action began with a discharge of artillery from 
both sides. The regiment of Waldeck, which had been re- 
cruited mainly from Austrian and Hungarian prisoners, 
gave ground before it had suifered a single casualty ; 
some other infantry followed this cowardly example. 
The remainder of the Dutch force fought well, but 
when the Highland Brigade charged with the bayonet. 
General Janssens, seeing the futility of further resistance 
in the face of overwhelming odds, ordered a retreat. 
The British loss was fifteen killed and one hundred and 
eighty -nine wounded ; that of the Dutch was probably 
more, but it has not been accurately ascertained. General 
Janssens retired to Hottentot's Holland and instructed 
Colonel von Prophalow, the Commandant of the Castle, 
to capitulate on the best obtainable terms. In the 
mean time British detachments had taken possession of 
Stellenbosch and the Roodezand Kloof. On January 
18 the Dutch General surrendered upon honourable 
conditions, in which the interests of the troops under 
his command were, so far as possible, safeguarded. 

General Janssens took his departure from Cape Town 
in the Bellona transport. In his farewell letter to 
General Baird occurs a certain passage which is worth 
transcribing — 

"Allow me, sir, to recommend to your protection 
the inhabitants of this Colony, whose happiness and 

The Second British Occupation loi 

welfare ever since I have been heie- were the chief 
objects of my care, and wlio conducted themselves 
during that period to my highest satisfaction. Give 
no credit in this i^espect to Mr. Barrow nor to the 
enemies of the inhabitants. They have their faults, 
but these are more than compensated by good qualities. 
Through lenity, through marks of affection and bene- 
volence, they may be conducted to any good." 

Had the spirit of the foregoing animated all sub- 
sequent rulere of South Africa, much blood and many 
tears might have been saved. Thus finally passed South 
Africa from the dominion of Holland to that of Great 

Administration of General Baird. — General Baird 
assumed office as Acting-Governor of the Colony and 
held the iK)sition for a year. He permitted most of the 
officials to retain their posts. With the exception of 
two, all the judges of the High Court resigned, and the 
vacancies had to be filled by men who were not trained 
lawyers and who could be removed at pleasure. How- 
ever, pending the issue of instructions by the Secretary 
of State, but few changes were made. The administra- 
tion of this Governor was characterised by tact, 
sympathy, and good sense. The colonists with whom 
he came into contact held him in strong regard. 
Although the great majority of the people regretted 
the transfer of the Cape to Great Britain, there was no 
manifestation of discontent — all quietly accepted the 
new situation. 

The Earl of Caledon appointed Governor.— In 1807 
Du Pre Alexander, Earl of Caledon, was appointed 
Governor. He arrived in May, accompanied by his 
Colonial Secretary, Mr. Andrew Barnard, who had 
previously served at the Cape as Secretary to Lord 
Macartney. General the Hon. Henry George Grey was 
appointed Lieutenant-trovernor. He had already arrived 
at the Cape and temporarily taken over the reins of 
government from General Baird. 

His Large Powers. — Power was now more centred 
in the hands of the Governor than had ever previously 

' It has been calculated by Dr. Oodee-Molsbergen that in 1806, the 
blood in the veins of the colonists was composed approximately as 
follows : Dutch, 60 per cent. ; German, 27 per cent. ; French, 17 per 
cent. ; other, 5 per cent. 

I02 A History of South Africa 

been the ease at the Cape. Under the Dutch rule, 
appeals in criminal cases were heard before the High 
Court of Justice at Bata\ ia ; now, however, the Governor, 
with two assessors, appointed by himself, formed the 
final Court of Appeal. He had also in his administrative 
capacity the power to mitigate or suspend sentences 
passed by any of the courts. Conjointly with the Lieut.- 
Governor, he was the Judge of Appeal in civil cases, 
when the amount in dispute exceeded <£200. He could 
suspend or dismiss any government official except those 
appointed by the Secretary of State, without any reason 
assigned ; he could fix the prices of produce required by 
the army and determine the quantity to be supplied 
by any individual. In these and all other matters the 
Governor acted entirely according to his own will and 
judgment. He was not restricted by any Council, and 
was responsible only to the distant Secretary of State. 

Slavery. — In 1807 the British Parliament enacted 
that, from May 1 of that year, no more slaves should 
be conveyed to or from any part of Africa in British 
ships. Between 1807 and 1811 the slaves owned by 
the Government at the Cape were gradually got rid of, 
and the Slave Lodge at the upper end of the present 
Adderley Street, after alteration, was put into use as 
public offices — a use which it still subserves. In 1808 
a slight rising among the slaves in the Malmesbury dis- 
trict took place ; no bloodshed occurred and the trouble 
soon came to an end. Four of the ringleaders, including 
an Irishman named Hooper, who was probably actuated 
by motives similar to those of John Brown of Harper's 
Ferry, w ere hanged ; seventeen others were flogged or 
imprisoned for life in chains. 

Deyelopment of Uitenhage. — During the period of 
Batavian rule, the condition of affairs on the eastern 
frontier somewhat improved. This was probably in a 
measure due to the judicious methods employed by 
Captain Alberti, the Commandant of Fort Frederick, 
who also acted as Landdrost of Uitenhage. This 
officer exercised considerable vigilance, and several 
times each year visited the clans of Bantu, in the 
Zviurveld. He also visited Gaika from time to time. 
To fill the vacancy caused by the 'removal of Captain 
Alberti, Sir David Baird appointed Captain Jacob Glen 
Cuyler. The first endeavovirs of this officer were directed 

The Second British Occupation 103 

towards develoi)ing a township around tho iinfinishefl 
ITitonhaj^e drostdy. Plots of ground were offered to 
l^eople free, on condition that suitable buildings were 
erected thereon within a given time. As a result, in 
1810, there were 461 male inhabitants between the ages 
of fifteen and forty-five reported as being able to bear 
arms in defence of the place. 

Bethelsdorp. — Friction had arisen between the 
Bethelsdoi'p missionaries and Captain Alberti; this 
became intensified after Captain Cuyler arrived. Dr. 
van der Kemp objected to being subject to the land- 
drost. He took up the ix)sition that the Bethelsdorp 
Institution was under the Governor, and no one else. 
To this missionary the supposed interests of the Hotten- 
tots were paramount. It is hardly too much to say 
that in his opinion the Hottentots could do no wrong, 
and the European could do no right. 

Mischievous Influence of Exeter Hall. — English 
sentiment, exalted under the generous impulses which 
led to the abolition of the slave traffic, was prone to 
give credence to specious tales of oppression inflicted 
upon weaker races. Exeter Hall exercised a strong 
and growing influence upon Downing Street ; reiterated 
assertions to the effect that the Black was pei'sistently 
ill-treated by the White were taken as proof. Thus the 
generous but mistaken indignation of a group of ill- 
balanced enthusiasts weakened a righteous cause, and 
sowed tares in the field of the future. 

More Trouble on the Frontier. — Troubles thickened 
on the frontier soon after Captain Cuyler began his 
duties. Bushmen depredations became more frequent ; 
plunder on the part of the Bantu recommenced. Regu- 
lations were enacted forbidding the farmers to follow- 
up stolen stock. So long as Ndhlambi remained in the 
Zuurveld no security was to be hoped for. That crafty 
chief was visited by Captain Cuyler, but without satis- 
faction being obtained. Gaika was also visited ; he 
was then a fugitive after a devastating raid by his 
uncle, and begged for Government protection. 

Discovery of the] Caledon and Kraai Rivers. — 
Shortly after his assumption of duty as Governor, the 
Earl of Caledon despatched a Colonel Collins with an 
ex|)edition on a tour through and beyond the frontier 
districts. In the coui-se of this two considei*»ble 

104 A History of South Africa 

streams, tributary to the Orange River, were dis- 
covered. Tlie one flowing from the north Avas named 
the " Caledon ; " that from the south the " Gray," 
which name was subsequently corrupted to " Kraai." 
Colonel Collins paid a visit to Hintza, the paramount 
chief of the Amaxosa, and on the return journey calls 
were made upon Gaika and Ndhlambi. The latter and 
his son Umhala declared that they had no intention of 
leaving the Zuurveld. Afterwards Colonel Collins pro- 
ceeded to Algoa Bay, and held an investigation into 
the conditions at Bethelsdorp. His subsequent report 
upon that settlement was most unfavourable. 

The Magna Charta of the Hottentots.— In 1809 a 
proclamation was issued enacting certain regulations 
with regard to the Hottentots. Every one of that race 
was now required to have a fixed place of abode, which 
had to be registered in the Office of the Landdrost of 
the district. The conditions under Avhich the Hottentots 
could take service with farmers were defined. In terms 
of these, the Hottentots were satisfactorily insured 
against unfair or oppressive treatment. This procla- 
mation came to be known as the " Magna Charta of 
the Hottentots." 

District of George formed. — In 1811 as much of the 
district of Swellendam as lay east of the Gouritz River 
was formed into a new district, which Avas named 
George, in honour of the reigning king. At the same 
time a tract of land on the eastern side of the district 
of Stellenbosch was added to Swellendam. In respect 
of this period, several signs of development may be 
noted. In 1808 the Loan Bank at Cape Town was em- 
powered to receive deposits and discount bills. Water- 
works were constructed. These were completed in 
1812, and water in iron pipes with taps was laid along 
the principal streets. Several of the latter were lit 
with oil lamps in 1809. 

Governor Sir John Gradock. — In 1811 the Earl of 
Caledon resigned his Governorship and proceeded to 
England. He had used his almost despotic power so 
fairly and judiciously that his reputation among the 
colonists stood high. He was succeeded by Sir John 
Cradock, a distinguished military officer, who had held 
a high command in Portugal during the Peninsula 
War, and had later been Governor and Commander-in- 

The Second British Occupation 105 

Chief at (iibraltar. I^idy Cradock was a (hiughter of 
the Karl of Chiiiwilliain. 

Bantu Depredations. — At the time when the new 
Governor tocjk the oaths of office the relations between 
tlie Europeans and the Bantu in the district of Uiten- 
liage had reached such a critical stage that serious 
hostilities were inevitable. Cungwa, chief of the Gunuk- 
webe Clan — next to Ndhlambi's following the most 
important clan west of the Fish River — forced his way 
across the Gamtoos River in 1808. He promised to 
return, but instead of doing so established himself 
among the mountains east of the Sundays River, and 
began plundering far and wide. Ndhlambi also moved 
westward ; when ordered by Major Cuyler to retire, 
he flatly refused compliance. Herdsmen were mur- 
dered and cattle lifted. These events hapi>ened before 
the departure of the Earl of Caledon, but he, in view of 
the Secretaiy of State's strongly emphasised desire to 
refrain from war, was unwilling to sanction formal 
hostilities. During 1811 the number of outrages in- 
creased. Several farmers and a number of Hottentot 
farm servants were murdered ; many herds of cattle 
were driven off. 

Murder of Landdrost Stockenstrom.— Towards the 
end of the year a military force was assembled under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Graham. It consisted of over one 
thousand regulars of all ranks and a number of burghei-s. 
Landdrost Stockenstrom, of Graaff Reinet, whose high 
character w^as proverbial, and whose consistent fairness 
and good feeling towards the natives was w^ell known, 
when marching with a small contingent of burghers 
near Bruintjes Hoogte, met a party of Xosas and 
engaged in conversation with them. The Natives, who 
had surrounded the Europeans, made a sudden attack, 
and the landdrost and eight of his companions were 

The Fourth Kaffir War. — The campaign which en- 
sued was quite successful ; Cungwa was killed ; a 
number of cattle were captured, and the Zuurveld was 
cleared of the enemy. By the end of March every 
Xosa had been driven to the eastward of the Pish 
River, and the fourth Kaffir War was at an end. 

Establishment of Military Posts. — For the purpose 
of pie venting the Xosas from returning, a chain of 

io6 A History of South Africa 

military i)osts, reaching from the sea north-westward 
to the second monntain range, was constructed. Sir 
John Cradock decided to station a permanent military 
force — the Cape Hottentot Regiment — in the Zuurveld, 
so he instructed Colonel Graham to select some locality 
suitable for its headquarters, and at the same time to 
offer facilities for settlers. 

Founding of Grahamstown. — Thus the present city 
of Grahamstown came to be founded. On August 14, 
1812, the Governor, by notice in the Gazette, appointed 
a landdrost to the new station, which still formed a 
portion of the district of Uitenhage. In 1813 a deputy 
landdrost was appointed to a locality on the Achter 
Sneuwberg, called Buffels Kloof. An existing farm- 
house was made the drostdy. This was the nucleus of 
the present town of Cradock. 

Levy of War Contributions. — In December of the 
same year a proclamation was issued assessing a war 
contribution upon those districts w hich had not suffered 
from the hostilities. The assessment was as follows : — 


Cape Town 15,000 

Cape district 10,000 

Stellenbosch 12,000 

Swellendam 10,000 

Tulbagh 10,000 

George 4,000 

Serious Charges against Colonists. — In 1808 the 

Reverend James Read, of Bethelsdorp, a colleague of Dr. 
van der Kemp, and who had himself married a woman 
of Hottentot race — wrote a letter which was published 
in the " Transactions " of the London Missionary Society, 
in which he charged a number of Dutch farmers with 
most appalling crimes committed upon Hottentots. 
Specific cases of murder and the application of most 
fiendish torture were alleged. The Secretary of State 
at once communicated with the Governor on the sub- 
ject ; and Major Cuyler was instructed to summon Mr. 
Read before him and take his sworn statement. This 
Avas done ; the evidence of certain Hottentot witnesses 
was also taken, but the statements proved to be vague 
and based upon hearsay. However, in view of the 

The Second British Occupation 107 

Kravity of the cliarges, the Governor instructed the 
l^Mseal to take the matter up. 

A delay of several months apjiareutly caused the 
liethelsdorp missionaries to believe that the matter 
lia<l been allowed to drop, for both Mr. van der Kemp 
and Mr. Read again wrote making further charges and 
accusing Major Cuyler of gross partiality in the matter 
of the investigation. One of Mr. Read's statements 
was as follows : — 

" Upwards of one hundred murders have been 
brought to our knowledge in this small part of the 

Lord Liverpool, who was now Secretary of State for 
the Colonies, at once instructed the Governor to hold 
an inquiry, and if the charges made were proved to be 
true, to take drastic action. 

The Black Circuit. — In the mean time the Fiscal had 
been at work in connection with the former charges. 
Lord LiveriKX)rs letter arrived when Messrs. Read and 
van der Kemp were in Cape Town, Avhere a special 
commission of the judges was engaged in taking their 
deix)sitions. Shortly afterwards Dr. van der Kemp 
died. It was now decided that a commission of four 
judges should hold a special Circuit Court to deal with 
cases arising out of the charges, and that the trials 
should take place at Uitenhage, Graaff Reinet and 
George. This came to be known as "The Black 
Circuit." Mr. Read, now on his mettle, was extremely 
active in raking up evidence. As a result, sixteen 
charges of recent murders and fourteen charges in 
respect of matters which took place either before the 
last surrender of the Colony or upon unknown dates, 
were formulated. Over one thousand witnesses were 
summoned ; the result was that one individual was 
foiuid guilty of assault and six of violence. In several 
of the cases, although guilt was not actually prove<l in 
a legal sense, it was made clear that cruelty and 
oppression had been practised. 

Without attempting to excuse such things, it may 
be pointed out that brutality was much more (iommon 
one hundred years ago than it is now, and that the lot 
of those in subjection was everywhere haixl. From the 
re|K)rt upon the circuits made by the judges to the 
CJoveriuuent, the following may be quoted : — 

io8 A History of South Africa 

" If the reformers, Messrs. van der Kemp and Read, 
had taken the trouble to have gone into a summary 
and impartial investigation of the different stories 
related to them, many of those complaints which had 
made such a noise as well within as without the Colony, 
must have been considered by themselves as existing in 
imagination only." 

In reporting on Bethelsdorp, the six judges said : — 

" The late Dr. van der Kemp established such an 
overstrained principle of liberty, as the groundwork, 
that the natural state of the barbarians appears there 
to supersede civilisation and social order. 

"Laziness and idleness and consequent dirt and 
filth grow there to perfection. 

" It is certainly not to be denied but that some of 
the Bethelsdorp Hottentots in former times suffered 
injuries from some of the farmers. 

" It is not the less true that there are many 
Hottentots at Bethelsdorp who have had a considerable 
part in plundering, robbing, setting fire to places, and 
even murdering the inhabitants." 

The " Black Circuit," coming as it did after a long 
period of ruinous struggle, strongly embittered the 
Dutch farmers against British rule. Many of the most 
respectable residents on the frontier had been charged 
with serious crimes upon utterly flimsy evidence, and 
subjected, not only to great anxiety and inconvenience, 
but to heavy expenditure which they could ill afford. 
It was also noted that whereas complaints of Hottentot 
and Bantvi depredations, extending over a long series 
of years, had been taken but little notice of, the 
charges made by the missionaries — charges in the large 
number of instances patently preposterous — were the 
occasion of immediate and vigorous action on the part 
of the British Government. This episode was one of 
the causes of the " Great Trek" which took place some 
twenty years later. 

Establishment of Circuit Courts. — In 1811 a most 
salutary change in the manner of administering justice 
was introduced. Hitherto all important eases had to 
be tried in Cape Town, to the great inconvenience of 
every one concerned ; now, however, circuit courts were 
established. Twice each year one of the Judges of 
the High Court of Justice held a court at the drostdy 

The Second British Occupation 109 

of t'ach district and dealt with all eases beyond the 
jurisdiction of the landdrost. Such judges also in- 
spected the district accounts and reported generally 
upon local affairs. 

Fixity of Land Tenure.— In 1813 fixity of tenure in 
i'csi)ect of land was introduced. Hitherto any vacant 
land could be taken up, its size being a circle, the 
periphery of which was not more than half an hour's 
Avalk in every direction from the central beacon. 
These holdings were called " loan places," for such an 
annual rent of twenty-four ryksdoUars was paid. The 
leases were for one year; however, according to 
established usage, they could be indefinitely extended 
by mere payment of the rent. Now, however, these 
" loan places " were surveyed, their size being limited 
to 3000 morgen. A moderate annual quit-rent, varying 
according to the quality and situation of the land, was 
imposed, and a definite title-deed issued in each case. 
In the same year the tract of country, hitherto known 
as the Zuurveld, was named " Albany," and deputy 
landdrosts were appointed to what are now the 
districts of Caledon and ClanwiUiam. 

A Punitive Expedition.— In October, 1813, Sir John 
Cradock undertook a tour through the Colony. He 
took the opportunity of holding an inquiry into the 
relations between the frontier farmers and the Xosas. 
In the course of this trip, having ascertained that 
further depredations had been committed by the 
Xosas, the Government called out a commando of 
Graaff Reinet and Uitenhage burghers and swept the 
forest country near the source of the Kat river. 
Between 2000 and 3000 cattle were captured ; the 
expedition had no other results. 

The Governop's Testimony to the Frontier Farmers. 
— Upon returning to Cape Town the Governor published 
a statement in the Gazette from which the following 
is an extract : — 

" His Excellency has had the further satisfaction 
and proof of the good and unoffending conduct of the 
inhabitants of the frontier towards the Kaffir tribes, 
tlui faithless and imrelenting disturbei-s of the peace 
and prosperity of this colony." 

Sir John Cradock resigned the governorship and 
deimrted for England on May 1, 1814. He was a fair, 

no A History of South Africa 

just and oi)en-minded man, and proved one of the best 
Governors who ever ruled the Cape Colony. One of 
his most useful measures was the establishment of free 
schools in the princiiml centres for poor Euroj^ean and 
coloured children. 

(To 1827) 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 

Lord Charles Somerset. — Lord Charles Henry Somerset 
was installed as Governor on April 6, 1814, and with 
an interval of ten months, during which he was absent 
on leave, retained his post for about twelve years. He 
was the second son of the Duke of Beaufort, and was 
i-elated to, or connected with, a number of the most 
influential families in England. He was appointed by a 
Tory ministry which drew its support largely from his 
relatives and friends. 

His Character. — It is not too much to say that Lord 
Charles Somerset was eminently unfitted for his post. 
Proud, arrogant, and conceited, he regarded opposition 
to his will as the unpardonable sin, and acted as a 
tyrant towards all who dared to think independently. 
Nevertheless, he occasionally showed correct insight 
in gauging the needs of the Colony — more especially 
in matters affecting the border districts. 

In October, 1814, after the Prince of Orange had 
landed at Scheveningen and once more taken his place 
as Sovereign, a Convention was signed between Great 
Britain and the Netherlands, in terms of which the 
latter received back all its dependencies except the 
Cape of Good Hope, Essequibo, Demerara, and Ber- 
bice. One of the provisos of this Convention was 
to the effect that Great Britain had to pay a sum 
of six millions sterling towaixis certain appi*opriations 
consequent uiK)n the international settlement after the 
first downfall of Napoleon. The transaction has been 
somewhat erroneously described as a sale of the Cape 
Colony for the sum 8i)ecified. 

112 A History of South Africa 

One of the first administrative acts of the new 
Governor was the establishment of an exxierimental 
farm at the foot of the Boschberg, on the site of the 
present town of Somerset East. The farm was sup- 
posed to be managed by a board consisting of farmers 
and officials, but Lord Charles Somerset soon dismissed 
the board and assumed the management himself. The 
finance connected with this institution was the occasion 
of much scandal. The farm was suddenly closed down 
in 1824, just before the arrival of the Commission which 
was sent out to investigate certain charges against the 
Governor. One useful thing which Lord Charles did 
was to import at his own expense some very superior 
horses. These undoubtedly improved the South African 
breed, and made possible in after years the export to 
India of excellent remounts. 

Establishment of a Mail Service. — In 1815 the first 
regular mail service Avas established between England 
and the Cape. Sailing vessels were despatched monthly 
to India via the Cape and Mauritius. These carried — as 
well as mails — passengers and cargo. The rate of post- 
age was 3s. Qd. per half -ounce. The voyage to the Cape 
took several months. To catch the trade wind outwards 
the vessels had to approach the coast of Brazil. 

Bezuidenhout's Case. — In 1813 a charge of ill-treating 
a Hottentot servant was laid before the landdrost of 
Cradock, against a farmer named Bezuidenhout, who 
dwelt in the valley of the Baviaan's River in the pre- 
sent district of Bedford. Bezuidenhout and those of 
the same vicinity were hardy, turbulent men, who had 
spent most of their lives in defending their property 
against Native marauders. They were, like many of 
those living near the frontier, imbued with a contempt 
for the Government and with a hatred of Natives. 
Although repeatedly summoned, Bezuidenhout, while 
excusing himself civilly in writing, i-efused to appear 
before the landdrost. Eventually in October, 181.5, the 
matter was reported to the judges on circuit at GraafP 
Reinet, who ordered Bezuidenhout's arrest. A curious 
feature of the case at this stage is, that the Hottentot 
who laid the series of complaints against his master, 
several times returned voluntarily to the latter' s 

At this time the farmers were still much embittered 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 113 

over the " Black Circuit.' Moreover, there was con- 
siderable irritation over the retention of the Hottentot 
Cori)s on the frontier. As Bezuidenhoiit was known to 
be a dangerous character, the civil authorities requested 
military assistance towards affecting his arrest, and the 
only force available was a detachment of the Hottentot 
Corps. Accordingly a party, consisting of a corpi)ral 
and fourteen troojKjrs, under two European com- 
missioned officers and a sergeant, were sent with the 
Under Bailiff to affect the arrest. On the approach of 
the party, Bezuidenhout, with two of his friends, seized 
their guns and took refuge in a cave. Here they were 
attacked ; they fired on the attacking party, but did no 
damage. Bezuidenhout was shot dead ; his companions 
were made prisoners. This happened on October 16. 

Treasonable Overtures to Gaika. — At the funeral of 
Frederick Bezuidenhout next day, his brother Jan vowed 
vengeance. The friends and relatives who were in 
attendance met afterwards and planned an insurrection. 
( )ne Cornelis Faber and four others were sent to inter- 
\ iew Gaika, and to offer that chief liberal reward in the 
shape of territory, cattle, and goods if he would consent 
to help the insurgents against the Government. But 
Gaika, after hearing what Faber had to say, refused to 
assist the conspirators. The disaffection spread ; the 
authorities were duly informed of what was happening 
and took steps accordingly. A spot near Slaghter's 
Nek, close to the junction of the Baviaans and Fish 
Rivers, was the rendezvous of the insurgents. Here 
some sixty of them gathered together on November 17. " 
Next day Colonel Cuyler arrived with a force of 
thirty burghers and forty dragoons. All but a few 
of the rebels surrenderee!. There is no doubt that 
a certain number had joined the revolutionary move- 
ment imder a misapprehension. When ordered to 
turn out they believed that the order had emanated 
from the lawful authorities. 

Flight and Death of Jan Bezuidenhout.— Jan Bezui- 
denhout and two of the more despeiate of the rebels 
tied to the Winterberg. Travelling in wagons and 
accompanied by their families, the course they decided 
to take was located. On November 29, after the 
\\ agons had halted and the oxen been released from the 
yokes, a baud of Hottentot soldiers, under a Europeiin 


114 A History of South Africa 

officer, arose from an ambush a few yards aAvay. 
There was also a party of burghers close at hand. One 
of Bezviidenhout's companions was shot down ; the 
other fled, but was overtaken and captured. Bezuiden- 
liout, with higli courage, faced his foes and refused all 
demands that he should surrender. With his wife and 
fourteen-year-old son at his side, this intrepid man 
determined to sell his life as dearly as possible. Mrs. 
Bezuidenhout loaded guns and passed them to her 
husband to fire. After he had fallen, mortally wounded, 
she hastily bound up his hurts and continued the fight. 
Eventually she and her son were shot doAvn. One 
Hottentot soldier was killed. The women in the other 
wagons surrendered. 

Slaghter's Nek. — Thirty-nine of the rebels Avere 
brought to trial before a Special Commission of the 
High Court of Justice ; six were condemned to die. 
Of those one was afterwards reprieved. The others 
were sentenced to various minor punishments. The 
sentence on the doomed five w as ordered to be carried 
out at Slaghter's Nek, where the rebels' muster had 
taken place. The circumstances of the execution were 
gruesome in the extreme ; the ropes by which four of 
the men were suspended broke ; the unhappy creatures 
pleaded for their lives, and the plea was seconded by 
the spectators in pitiful terms. It is perhaps as well 
that the details of the dreadful tragedy which followed 
are not fully known. 

Technically these men deserved death ; possibly the 
carrying out of the sentence was in accordance with 
the spirit of the age. It is, however, much to be re- 
gretted that the Governor did not remit the death 
penalty. None of those executed had shed any blood ; 
the two Bezuidenhouts, who were the original causes 
of the disturbance, were dead. Had mercy been shown 
it would have averted much subsequent bitterness. 

The Griquas. Messrs. Anderson and Kramer.— In the 
barren country lying between the somewhat indefinite 
boundary of the Colony and the Orange River, a 
number of people of mixed race had wandered for 
many years. In them the Hottentot and European 
strains predominated, but in their veins ran Asiatic 
and Negroid blood which originated from escaped 
slaves. These people came to be known as the Griquas ; 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 115 

why, it i8 not quite clear. Two luisHionaries, the 
lleverend Mr. Andei*son, who was sent out by the 
London Missionary Society, and a Mr. Kramer, joined 
these nomads in 1801. Three years later the mission- 
aries induced tlie Griquas to settle down at a place 
called Klatirwater, north of the Orange River and 
west of where it is joined by the Vaal. Here a strong 
stream gushed forth suddenly from underground ; this 
was used for irrigation. 

Founding of Griquatown. — The settlement flourished ; 
it eventually came to be called Griquatown. In 1819 
the Griquas used to bring down their ramshackle 
wagons loaded with wheat to Beaufort West. Later 
the settlenu'iit became a source of trouble. 

Coenraad Buys. — Other communities of nondescripts 
migrated and settled in the more or less adjoining 
vacant lands; some of these were mere freebooters. 
One mischievous gang was under the leadership of a 
European ruffian, named Coenraad Buys, who had 
formerly lived among the Xosas, where he had taken 
the mother of Gaika as wife. 

Bands of Freebooters. — Although Griquatown Avas 
beyond the colonial boundary. Sir John Cradock, when 
forming the Hottentot Regiment, called upon the 
Griquas to provide a contingent. Mr. Andei*son 
endeavoured to induce compliance ; this the Griquas 
refused. Mr. Anderson journeyed to Cape Town to 
explain matters. Buys used the opportunity for com- 
pletely destroying the missionary's influence. Mr. 
Anderson was obliged to leave his post. Large numbei*s 
of the Griquas joined Buys, who raided extensively 
among the Bechuana tribes to the northwai-d. The 
tracts beyond the Orange River became more and moi-e 
lawless and disturbed, and a flourishing contraband 
trade in guns and ammunition sprang up. 

Formation of Beaufort West and Worcester Dis- 
tricts. -With the view of improving matters a northern 
district was formed in 1818 with its di*ostdy near 
the Nieuwveld Moiuitains It was named Beaufort 
West. In 1819 the village of Worcester was founded, 
and a deputy to the landdrost of Tulbagh stationed 

Census of 1819.— According to the census of 1819 
tlu* population of the Colony was as follows : — 

ii6 A History of South Africa 

Europeans 42,217 

Slaves 31,696 

Hottentots 24,433 

Free Blacks 1,883 

Negro apprentices taken from captured 

slaveships 1,428 

The GoYernor visits the Frontier. — In 1816 the 
London Missionary Society was permitted to establish a 
station on the Kat River close to the present site of Fort 
Beaufort, within about fifteen miles of Gaika's kraal. 
Here was stationed an excellent missionary named 
Williams. Depredations on the part of the Xosas had 
recommenced. Kraals were built close to the eastern 
bank of the Fish River, and from there the Xosas 
raided anew into Albany. Again the shadow of 
impending war fell upon the border districts. The 
Governor decided to visit the frontier. He left Cape 
Town on January 27, 1817, and proceeded to Lower 
Albany. He found that out of 145 Albany families 90 
had fled westward, and that the remainder were pre- 
paring to follow. He decided to enter Kafifirland and 
visit Gaika. A force was assembled to escort him. 
This included 100 dragoons, 350 burghers, and detach- 
ments of infantry, of artillery, and of the Cape Regi- 
ment. An officer was sent forward to prepare Gaika 
for the visit. 

Meeting with Gaika and Ndhlambi. — The meeting 
took place at a spot on the western bank of the Kat 
River. Gaika was accompanied by Ndhlambi and a 
large following ; he paused on the eastern bank of the 
river and hesitated before trusting himself among the 
white men. A number of his followers were so alarmed 
that, when they caught sight of the Governor's camp, 
they fled. However, eventually the two chiefs, accom- 
panied by several of their subordinates and with a body- 
guard of three hundred men, armed with assegais, crossed 
the river and entered the camp. A long conference 
followed. Gaika declared that the stealing and other 
outrages complained of took place without his know- 
ledge ; this may have been true, for the control exercised 
by a Kaffir chief was always uncertain and inadequate. 
A proposal embodying an important new administra- 
tive departure was made by the Governor and agreed 
to by the chiefs. 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 117 

The Spoor Law. — This was the famous "Spoor 
TiHW," which threw collective responsibility on the 
inhabitants of any village to which the tracks of stolen 
cattle hapi^ened to be traced. In such a case the 
inhabitants had either to trace the spoor farther or else 
make good the loss. This system obviously was capable 
of abuse, and there can be no doubt that in certain 
instances it came to be abused. However, it was in 
accordance with a well-known principle of native law. 
(laika was presented with a fine grey horse and a 
number of other gifts, with which he was childishly 

More Military Posts established.— One result of this 
tour was the establishment of a double line of posts 
along the Pish and Sundays Rivers, but within a week 
of the Governor's return to Cape Town the Xosas had 
imssed through this line, and were once more raiding 
the Zuurveld. In May, Gaika sent to Grahamstown a 
number of stolen horses which he had recovered, but 
the messenger who brought them was afterwards 
ascertained to be a spy in the service of Ndhlambi. 
Just about this time the British Government, uix)n 
grounds of economy, made the mistake of transferring a 
number of troops from the Cape Station to India, and 
thus reducing the garrison. 

Unbearable Condition of Frontier. — In 1818 the 
outrages perpetrated by the Xosas became almost 
unbearable. Gaika protested innocence, clamoured for 
more presents, and gave permission to have his country 
searched for stolen stock. Ndhlambi, whose following 
had increased by the defection of a number of his 
uncle's people, would give no such permission. 

A Punitive Raid. — A party of burghers entei-ed 
Kaffirland. They returned with eighty-three head of 
cattle and a horse, which had been stolen. A number 
of other stolen animals had been seen at Ndhlambi's 
village, but delivery of these was refused. A small 
force traversed the country between the Pish and 
Keiskamma Rivers ; then it visited the area between 
the latter river and the Kat. At many of the kraals 
of petty chiefs stolen stock was found. A collection 
(^f over two thousand cattle was made ; of these 
upwai-ds of six hundred were recognised by their 
owuei*8; the balance was distributed among those 

ii8 A History of South Africa 

who had lost stock, as j^art compensation. Gaika 
made indignant remonstrance ; he held that only 
Ndhlambi's snb-chiefs should have been dealt with. 
Taking all the circumstances into consideration, the 
seizure of these 1400 unclaimed cattle was certainly 
justifiable. War, hunting, and cattle-lifting were 
looked upon by the Bantu of the period as the only 
pursuits worth following, and there was probably 
hardly a Xosa within fifty miles of the border who had 
not participated in the plunder to which the farmers 
had for so long been subjected. It was well known 
that in killing cattle for feasting purposes, the Natives 
as a rule slaughtered the animals they had stolen and 
spared their own. Anarchy now supervened ; murder 
and pillage once more became the ordinary incidents of 
frontier existence. 

Growth of Ndhlambi's Power. — In the meantime the 
power of Ndhlambi had been steadily increasing. The 
support and recognition which Gaika had received 
from the Europeans tended to weaken his influence 
over his own people. Legitimacy counts for a great 
deal with the Natives, and Gaika was undoubtedly 
Ndhlambi's superior in rank, but Ndhlambi was by far 
the stronger man, and he received considerable support 
from two sources. Dushani, one of his younger sons, 
had been adopted into another " house," and had 
hitherto stood aloof in the disputes between his father 
and Gaika. Dushani had quarrelled with his father ; 
now, however, a reconciliation was eifected. He was 
a man of considerable ability and strong character, and 
his clan had become powerful under that process of 
accretion which was so often evident when a minor 
Native chief showed signs of conspicuous ability. 

Makana, the Prophet.— But even a greater source of 
strength to Ndhlambi was a man named Makana, a 
prophet or visionary who, in spite of his not belonging 
to any of the great "houses," exercised a powerful 
influence upon all with whom he came into contact. 
Makana must have been a man of genius ; he was, 
moreover, a firm believer in his own mission. He 
strove hard to heal the differences between Gaika and 
Ndhlambi, and when this was found to be impossible he 
gave his full support to the latter. His grand idea was 
to drive the white men into the sea. Although not a 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 119 

( 'hristian, he had listened carefully to the missionaries' 
teaching, and was strongly impressed by certain of ita 
aspects. It was Makana who induced the Xosas to 
substitute burial of the dead for exposure, which had 
l)een the immemorial tribal practice. 

Gaika attacks Ndhlambi.— Gaika, fearing an on- 
slaught, sent an appeal to Government for help, but 
befoi'e a reply was received, Ndhlambi declared war by 
seizing the cattle of one of his uncle's sub-chiefs. This 
stung the pride of Gaika's followers. They assembled 
in council and decided upon retaliation. Gaika also 
had a prophet, one Ntsikana, the composer of that 
well-known rhapsody known as " Ntsikana' s Hymn." 
He strongly opposed the attack on Ndhlambi, and fore- 
told disaster, but hostilities had been irrevocably de- 
cided upon, so the army of Gaika marched forth from 
the chief's " Great Place," in the Tyume Valley, crossed 
the Keiskamma River and marched to Debe Nek, near 
the south-western limit of the Amatole Range. Here 
it met the foe. 

Battle of Amalinda.— Total Defeat of Gaika.— The 
main body of Ndlilambi's army, wliich had been rein- 
forced by a strong contingent of Gcalekas sent by 
Hintza from beyond the Kei River, lay for the time 
being in concealment. Gaika's army was in the first 
instance attacked by the young men of the hostile 
force— the "Roundheads," as they were termed. 
These were easily overborne. Then Ndlilambi's 
veterans, their heads adorned with the sign of their 
rank, the feathers of the blue crane, swept up from 
where they were hidden, and a fiercely contested battle 
ensued. The combat began shortly after midday ; at 
sundown the Gaikas were driven headlong from the 
field. The slaughter lasted until darkness made further 
pursuit impossible. Then the victors returned to the 
scene of the great struggle, kindled large fires at 
different parts of the field, and by the light of these 
sought out and slaughtered their wounded foes. 
Thus was fought what is known as the Battle of 
Amalinda — the latter word being the Kaffir term for 
some unusual depressions occurring in the groiuid in 
tlie vicinity. 

Colonel Brereton*8 Expedition against Ndhlambi.— 
Fifth Kaffir War. Gaika took refuge in the Wintorberg, 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 121 

whence he sent an account of his misfortunes to one 
of the military posts. His country was harried, larj^e 
numbers of his cattle were taken, his kraals were 
burnt, and the corn looted from his pits. Lord Charles 
Somerset decided that it was necessary to break 
Ndhlambi's iK)wer. Accordingly, in December, 1818, 
he assembled at Grahamstown a force which took the 
field under Lieutenant-Colonel Brereton. From Graaflf 
Reinet and Uitenhage six hundred burghers were called 
up. Commandos of burghers from other districts also 
assembled. The force included regular infantry and a 
contingent of the Hottentot Corps. Gaika's warriors, 
thirsting for revenge after their terrible defeat, acted 
as an auxiliary force. Ndhlambi and his allies retired 
and took refuge in the jungles of the Keiskamma. 
Their cattle, some 23,000 head, were captured. But the 
savage cruelty of Gaika's people towards those of the 
enemy who fell into their hands caused Colonel Brereton 
to withdraw from the pursuit before Ndhlambi's power 
was broken, so the force returned to Grahamstown. 
The captured cattle were distributed and the burghei-s 
dismissed to their homes. 

Eastern Districts laid waste.— Ndhlambi now recog- 
nised that his opportunity had come, and he used it. 
He rallied his forces, fell upon Gaika's people, and 
scattered them like chafF. Then he carried fire and 
spear through Albany and the eastern part of the 
Uitenhage district. Again the long-suffering burghers 
were called out, but a severe epidemic of horse -sickness 
for a time prevented mobilisation. In the meantime 
Ndhlambi decided to attack Grahamstown. 

Battle of Grahamstown.— Tlie garrison there con- 
sisted of 8.'i3 men, including 121 Hottentots of the 
newly enrolled Cape Corps. Makana commanded during 
the attack ; he had become acquainted with the exact 
strength of the defending force through a spy. The 
attacking Xosas numbered from 9000 to 10,000; they 
assembled on the hills surixjimding Grahamstown on 
the afternoon of April 21, 1819. Makana sent notice 
of his intention of attacking, or, as he expressed it, " of 
breakfasting " with Colonel Willshire, the Commandant, 
next morning. Prei)a rations for resistance were made ; 
sixty men defended the East Barracks, afterwai-ds 
known as Fort England. The i*omainder of the force 

122 A History of South Africa 

was extended eastward in a line through the valley to 
where the railway station stands to-day. The attack 
was made at sunrise. The enemy, uttering fierce yells, 
swept down from the hills and rushed ag-ainst the 
attenuated line of defenders. They were allowed to 
come within thirty-five paces. Then a volley rang out 
and brought them to a standstill. Being unable to 
sustain the murderous fire at point-blank range, they 
broke and retired when the defenders arose and 
advanced towards them. 

Makana personally led the attack on the barracks, 
which was pressed home to the very muzzles of the 
guns. The Xosas had broken the handles of their 
assegais off short so as to use them as stabbing-spears 
instead of as javelins. But all their fierce bravery was 
useless against the white men's weapons. When the 
attackers drew off they left about one thousand dead 
behind them. The European loss was three killed and 
five wounded. 

Fate of Makana. — In May an infantry regiment 
arrived at the Cape, and by the third week in July a 
force of regulars, burghers, and Hottentots, nearly three 
thousand strong, was ready to take the field. This force 
was divided into three separate columns. Soon the 
enemy was driven with heavy losses eastward from the 
jungles of the Fish River, and ultimately across the Kei. 
Thirty-two thousand head of cattle were captured. 
The power of Ndhlambi was completely broken ; he 
lost his influence and became a fugitive. Makana 
surrendered, as he said, "to restore peace to his 
starving people." He was sent as a political prisoner 
to Robben Island. A year afterwards he escaped, with 
thirty companions, in a whaling boat. All the others 
succeeded in landing on the shore at Table Bay, but 
Makana was drowned in the surf. His people, who 
loved him, could not believe him to be dead, and it was 
upwards of half a century before they abandoned hope 
of his return. 

The Keiskamma River declared the Boundary. — 
Thus ended the Fifth Kaffir War. The Keiskamma 
River was now declared to be the boundary of the 
colony. To this Gaika consented ; but it was agreed 
that the tract between the Keiskamma and the Fish 
Rivers had to remain uninhabited, and was to be 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 123 

constantly patrolled by troopH. For the furtlieraiice 
of this duty the Hottentot CorpH was augmented 

Sir Rufane Donkin. — In January, 1820, Lord Charle« 
Somerset left for England on leave. His place as 
(Jovernor was taken by Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin, a 
military officer, who happened to be i^roceeding home- 
w aid from India rid the Cape. 

The British Settlers of 1820.— In 1820 occurred an 
immigration from Great Britain, which had an im- 
portant influence on South Africa, and which stamj^ed 
t lie eastern portion of the Cape Colony as permanently 
and essentially British. Hitherto, except in one instance, 
there had been no organised immigration of Euroj^eans 
worth mentioning since the period when the Huguenots 
made South Africa their home. The exception was 
when a Mr. Moody, in 1817, introduced some two 
hundred indentured mechanics and labourers from the 
south of Scotland. From time to time soldiers who 
took their discharge settled in the country. In 1817 
and 1818 between six hundred and seven hundred 
of this class were released from military service in 
Cape Town, but most of these were foreigners of more 
or less debased character. The greater number of them 
sank to the level of, and mingled with, the coloured 
population. Several proposals for the introduction of 
Europeans had been mooted. During Sir John Cradock's 
governorship it was proposed to introduce immigrants 
from Holland, and Colonel Graham suggested the intro- 
duction of evicted peasants from the highlands of 
Scotland. Neither proposal had any result. 

After the close of the Napoleonic Wars the economic 
conditions in England were very unfavourable for the 
working classes. The Corn Laws were still unrepealed, 
so bread was dear. The large reduction of the Army 
and Navy had filled the land with unemployed. More- 
over, improvements in machinery had, to a great extent, 
destroyed the cottage industries of spinning and 
weaving. In the United Kingdom the problems arising 
<»ut of unemployment had become very pressing indeed. 

In a despatch, dated July 28, 1817, Loi'd Bathurst 
called upon Lord Charles Somerset for an expression of 
opinion as to the suitability of the Cape Colony as a 
field for emigration. The Governor replied in most 

124 A History of South Africa 

favourable terms as regards the district of Albany. 
This was described as a land extremely fertile, and as 
having a splendid climate. Cereals, wool, cotton, and 
tobacco could, he said, be produced in quantities 
sufficient for exportation. The only disadvantage in- 
dicated was the danger from the Natives, but this the 
Governor considered would be neutralised by the settle- 
ment on the land of a sufficient number of Europeans. 

In 1819 a pamphlet recommending emigration to 
South Africa was issued from a private source in Eng- 
land. The Press took the matter up ; the London Times 
wrote strongly on the subject. Popular enthusiasm 
grew, and much exaggerated views as to the agricultural 
and other capabilities of the Cape Colony became 
current. The British Parliament voted £50,000 for the 
purpose of assisting suitable persons to emigrate to 
South Africa. 

It was arranged that individuals with sufficient 
capital and influence were to organise parties under 
terms to be mutually agreed upon, each party being 
unconnected with any other. "At least ten suitable 
individuals above eighteen years of age, with or with- 
out families," was to be the minimum of each party. 
A sum of £10 had to be deposited in respect of each 
family or individual. This sum was to be refunded 
subsequently in three instalments. To each party 
would be allotted land to the extent of 100 acres per 
family or individual at an annvial quit-rent of £2. 
This was to become payable after ten years should 
have elapsed. The subsequent allotment of land was, 
in terms of the agreement, to be arranged between the 
members of each party and the leader thereof. The 
idea underlying the scheme was that the respective 
parties should reside close enough to each other to be 
able to combine for defence in the event of a Native 
raid. The employment of slaves by the settlers w as 
prohibited. The number of parties thus formed was 
fifty-seven. Of these fifty-two mustered in England, 
four in Ireland, and one, under the poet Thomas 
Pr ingle, in Scotland. The total number of individuals 
was 3487, of whom 1194 were men, 735 women, and 
1558 children. 

The emigrants started on their voyage from various 
ports in December, 1819, and January, 1820. Most of 

£ o 




126 A History of South Africa 

the vessels conveying them arrived at Algoa Bay in 
April or May following. They camped on the shore 
where the city of Port Elizabeth now stands. Mr. 
Pringle thns described the camp and its dwellers : — 

Description by an Eye-witness. — " I entered the 
settlers' camp. It consisted of several hundred tents 
pitched in parallel rows or streets and occupied by 
the middling and lower classes of emigrants. These 
consisted of various descriptions of people, and the 
air, aspect, and array of their persons and temporary 
residences were equally various. There were respectable 
tradesmen and jolly farmers wdth every appearance 
of substance and snug England comfort about them. 
There were watermen, fishermen, and sailors from the 
Thames and English seaports, with the reckless and 
weatherbeaten look usual in persons of their perilous 
and precarious professions. There were numerous 
groups of pale-visaged artisans and operative manu- 
facturers from London and other large towns, of whom, 
doubtless, a certain proportion w^ere persons of highly 
reputable character and steady habits ; but a far larger 
proportion were squalid in their aspect, slovenly in 
their attire and domestic arrangements, and dis- 
contented and discourteous in their demeanour. Lastly, 
there w^ere parties of pauper agricultural labourers, 
sent out by the aid of their respective parishes, 
healthier, perhaps, than the class just mentioned, but 
not apparently happier in mind, nor less generally 
demoralised by the outw ard influence of their former 
social condition. On the whole, they formed a motley 
and unprepossessing collection of people. Guessing 
vaguely from my observations on this occasion and on 
subsequent rambles through their locations, I should 
say that probably about one-third were persons of 
real respectability of character and possessed of some 
worldly substance, but that the remaining two-thirds 
were for the most part composed of individuals of a 
very unpromising description — persons who had hung 
loose upon society, low in morals, and desperate in 

The four. Irish parties had been sent to the Clan- 
william district to be located there, but as the land w^as 
found to be unsuitable they were subsequently removed 
to Albany. Several additional parties were despatched 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 127 

lining Uu! next and the following yeai'S. One of the 
liips conveying these, the Abeona, was burnt at sea, 
with a loss of 1 11 lives. 

The Settlers reach their Locations. — Some two 
liun<lred ox-wagons had Ix'en re((uisitioned by Govern- 
ment for the pnrjKjse of conveying the settlers to their 
icspec'tive locations, which it took from ten to twelve 
• lays to reach. These wagons had to make several 
trips before the distribution had been completed. As 
each party arrived at its destination the families were 
off-loaded with their belongings in the oijen veld. Tents 
were lent by Government, and depdts formed here and 
there from which, for a limited period, rations could 
))c drawn. 

Their Ignorance of Agriculture. — The country was 
beautiful to the eye : grass-covered and sprinkled with 
mimosa trees ; most of the valleys were filled with 
forest. But many of the locations were quite unsuited 
to the purpose for which they had been selected ; 
consequently bitter dissatisfaction and many disputes 
filled the early days. Comparatively few of the settlers 
were agriculturists, and those few knew nothing of 
South African agriculture, the successful pursuit of 
which required a special training. The efforts towards 
cultivation were in some instances grotesque ; we read 
of one man who attempted to grow carrots by burying 
the seed in a trench two feet deep; of another who 
sowed maize without removing the grains fi-om the 
cob. Before long it became evident that the great 
majority of the immigrants would have either to leave 
the locations or starve. 

Sir Rufane Donkin did all in his power to assist the 
strangers. He came to Algoa Bay while they were 
being disembarked, and when the parties movetl inland 
he followed and personally inspected many of the 
locations, greeting the people with friendliness and 
doing his best to cheer the discouraged. Seeing the 
need of some administrative centre more conveniently 
situated than Grahamstown, he fixed upon a fertile 
undulating tract on the edge of the forest which 
boixiers the Kouie River on the eastward, and was 
situatecl about eight miles from the sea. Here a 
village was laid out and given the name of Bathui*st 
in honour of the Secretary of State. It was by 

128 A History of South Africa 

proclamation declared the seat of magistracy for Albany 
and thus given precedence over Grahamstown. In 
terms of the same proclamation the limits of the 
"province" of Albany were defined as including the 
neutral territory between the Fish and Keiskamma 
Rivers, which had been ceded by Gaika on condition 
that it should remain uninhabited. However, with 
the consent of Gaika the Acting-Governor established 
a settlement on the Beka stream, which he named 
Fredericksburg, and this Avas peopled by a few officers 
and a number of discharged soldiers. Owing largely 
to the blundering mismanagement of those responsible 
for the carrying out of the scheme, the enterprise ended 
in failure. 

Establishment of Periodical Fairs.— In July, 1821, 
periodical fairs, annual at first, quarterly later, Avere 
established at Fort Willshire. To these licensed 
traders brought wagons loaded with goods, and the 
Kaffirs — their women loaded with ivory, skins, gum 
and other products — attended in large crowds. Trade 
was carried on by means of barter, and the chiefs 
seized for their own benefit about half the goods their 
followers obtained. Neither strong drink nor ammuni- 
tion was allowed to be supplied. The entrance of 
traders into Kaffirland was prohibited by stringent 
proclamations, but the profits to be won by trading 
with the Natives for cattle were so large that the law 
was disregarded and many Europeans crossed the 
boundary. For some time an exceedingly lucrative 
trade in both ivory and cattle was carried on. 

Port Elizabeth. — Sir Rufane Donkin gave the name 
of Port Elizabeth to the new but rapidly growing 
township at Algoa Bay. This he did in memory of his 
wife, who had died in India two years previously. A 
stone pyramid with an inscription in her honour was 
erected on the hill overlooking the landing-place, where 
it still stands. 

Within two years of the arrival of the British 
settlers, only 438 men, 298 Avomen and 843 children 
remained on the land which had been allotted to them. 
When one learns that the first two crops of wheat 
failed utterly, one wonders at the determination of 
those who remained. The greater number of those 
settlers Avho belonged to the Avorking-classes had made 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 129 

tlieir way tu the various towns where employment was 
easily obtained. But although the enterprise failed of 
its intende<l object it succeeded in unexpected ways. 
From the immigrant stock have been derived many 
men whose names are held in great and deserved 
honour, and the impress which the settlers of 1820 left. 


not alone upon the Eastern Province, but upon the 
whole of South Afiica, can never be effaced. 

In 1823, 336 men, women and children of the labour- 
ing class were brought to Cape Town fi*om England, 
the Government contributing towards the cost of their 
conveyance. All capable of work obtained remunera- 
tive employment without delay. 

Return of Lord Charles Somerset. — Lord Charlee 


I30 A History of South Africa 

Somerset returned to the Cape with a newly married 
wife at the end of November, 1821. Sir Rufane Donkin 
had gained the good-will of all with Avhom he came 
into contact. But Lord Charles Somerset was filled 
with anger against him, principally because of altera- 
tions in some arrangements Lord Charles had made 
before his departure. The Acting-Governor had 
established a settlement in the neutral territory, had 
stopped the building of a fort on the bank of the 
Keiskamma — substituting for it a barrack on another 
site — and had removed Captain Henry Somerset, the 
Governor's son, from Grahamstown where he was acting 
as landdrost, to Simonstown. 

Arrival of Scotch Presbyterian Clergymen.— When 
in England Lord Charles Somerset had arranged for 
some Scottish Presbyterian clergymen to come to the 
Cape. At the time no Dutch Reformed Ministers 
were available in Holland, and the tenets of the 
Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed Churches are 
practically identical. Three divinity students were 
sent to Holland to learn Dutch. These afterwards 
became pastors, respectively of Worcester, Beaufort 
West and Somerset East. Schoolmasters were also 
introduced and appointed to Uitenhage, Graaff Reinet, 
Stellenbosch, George, Tulbagh and Caledon, and good 
free schools were established at these villages. The 
Colony was in a state of great depression. This became 
intensified during the following tAVO years, largely 
owing to failure of crops. Moreover, the death of the 
captive Emperor Napoleon and the consequent reduction 
of the garrison at St. » Helena was a heavy blow to the 
prosperity of the western districts. Hitherto St. 
Helena had provided the only considerable market for 
wine, brandy, dried fruit and other produce. Now, 
however, such staples were largely unsaleable. 

The Governor's Tyrannical Methods. — The Governor 
reversed in several instances the measures enacted by 
Sir Rufane Donkin. He removed the seat of magistracy 
from Bathurst to Grahamstown and withdrew the 
garrison from the former place. These and other 
administrative measures caused great dissatisfaction 
among the settlers. With the idea of ventilating their 
grievances, a public meeting was called, but the 
Governor issued a proclamation declaring such a 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 131 

nit^eti ng illegal under heavy painn and i)enalties. 
Other proclamations issued in 1822 and 1825 were 
greatly resented by the Dutch colonists. In terms of 
these the use of the Dutch language in courts of law 
and in official documents was restricted. In 182ft an 
amended proclamation was issued, making optional the 
use of either language in courts of law. This remained 
ill force until 1828, when English became the official 

Opening of the South African Public Library. — In 
1822 the South African Public Library was ojjened in 
a portion of the old Slave Lodge at the top of the 
Heerengracht, now Adderley Street, Cape Town. Four 
years previously the Governor had imposed a gauging 
fee of one ryksdollar upon each cask of wine, the pro- 
ceeds to be devoted to the Library fund ; later such 
fees were paid into the public revenue and an annual 
grant of £300 substituted, but owing to financial stress 
the grant was withdrawn in 1827, and for many years 
the Library had to subsist upon subscriptions. 

More Bantu Depredations— Maqoma.— In 1822 
trouble with the Bantu recommenced. Gaika still steered 
his difficult course, endeavouring to comply with the 
requirements of the Government in the matter of stolen 
stock, and at the same time to retain influence over his 
l>eople. His son, Maqoma, who had been permitted to 
establish himself in the wild and broken country near 
the source of the Kat River, looted a herd of cattle 
from the mission station in the Tyume Valley, where 
the missionaries, Messrs. Brownlee and Thomson, had 
l^een appointed agents of the Government. Gaika 
caused some of these cattle to be returned, promising 
to recover the balance. This, however, he failed to do. 
A military party was despatched to arrest the chief, 
but he escaped. Within a few weeks, however, such 
of the stolen stock as still existed was returned, to- 
gether with the equivalent of the animals that had 
been slaughtered. Ndhlambi returned to his former 
location ; he and Gaika now became suspiciously 
friendly. Maqoma's following increased through small 
clans stealing in and placing themselves under his 
leadership. The depredations increased to such an 
extent that in Octoljer, 1823, a force of two huudi*ed 
burghei*s and a detiichment of the Caix? Regiment 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 133 

were deHpatelied to Macioina's kraals, where they seized 
some seven thousand head of cattle. From these the 
farmers who had lost stock were comix? iisate<l. Over 
five thousand 'head were returned to the Natives, who 
now humbly sued for forgiveness, and promised to 
refrain from further looting. Major Henry Somerset, 
who was now in command of the CsLpe Regiment, did 
excellent service in preventing cattle-stealing on the 

Founding of Fort Beaufort.— In 1822 a block-house 
was erected on the eastern bank of the Kat River below 
the Kroomie Range ; it was named Fort Beaufort, and 
was the nucleus around which the present town of the 
same name developed. 

Disastrous Floods. — In the spring of 1823 a heavy 
misfortune fell upon the Eastern Province ; this was a 
flood of unprecedented severity. Being inexi>erienced, 
many of the settlers had built their cottages on sites 
which lay too low. For several days in succession 
heavy thunderstorms were continuous ; all the rivers 
overflowed their banks ; in every valley was a roaring 
torrent. Dwellings, gardens, and orchards were swept 
away ; ground loosened by the plough was skinned 
from the sub-soil. The distress which resulted w^as 
pitiful, but subscriptions poured in from England and 
India, until the amount of about £10,000 was available 
for relief. 

Early in 1825 Lord Charles Somerset made a journey 
to the frontier, in the course of which he visited the 
moutli of the Kowie River, which he named Port 
Francis. Here he stationed a magistrate. Sir Rufane 
Donkin had already considered the question of the 
opening of the Kowie as a port for the eastern districts, 
and in 1821 a small schooner had crossed the bar. A 
customs house was also established. Between 1828 
and 1833, however, the whole Government establish- 
ment of Port Francis was gradually abolished. While 
at Grahamstown the Governor removed the landdrost, 
Mr. Rivei^s, who had become very unix)pular with the 
settlers, and appointed in his stead Captain Dundas of 
the Royal Artillery. 

At this time, although no formal official notification 
had been given, the Colony to the north-east was held 
to have extended to the Oi*ange River from about the 

134 A History of South Africa 

present site of HoijetoAvn to the Stormberg Si)ruit. In 
1825 the subdrostdy of Cradoek was abolished and a 
new district named Somerset Avas created. This in- 
cluded territory as far eastward as thfe Koonap, the 
Zwaart Kei and the Stormberg Spruit. 

Arrival of the First Steamship. — On October 13, 1825, 
the first steamship arrived at Table Bay. This w as the 
Enterprise of five hundred tons burden Avith two sixty- 
horse-power engines. She took fifty-eight days to reach 
the Cape from Falmouth. There was much excitement, 
and the occasion was made a public holiday. The vessel 
steamed round the Bay to exhibit her power of moving 
against the wind in any direction, much to the interest 
and delight of the inhabitants, who crowded to the 

Commissioners Colebrook and Bigge.— In 1822 the 
King appointed Commissioners to inquire into the 
state of the colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, 
Mauritius, and Ceylon. The Commissioners, Major 
William Colebrook and Mr. John Bigge, arrived at the 
Cape in July, 1823. For upwards of three years they 
were engaged in investigating the condition of the 
Colony generally. They paid special attention to the 
form of government, the finances, the administration 
of justice, and the condition of the Natives and coloured 
people. They also dealt with complaints made by 
individuals. It Avas not until 1830 that their reports 
on these matters were completed. 

Appointment of a Council of Advice. — Among the 
principal recommendations which they made and Avhich 
Avere adopted AAas the appointment of a council to 
assist and advise the Governor. This Avas to consist 
of six members, of AA'hom three, namely, the Chief 
Justice, the Secretary to the Government, and the 
Senior Military Officer next to the Governor, aa ere to be 
members ex officio. Three other members Avere to be 
nominated by the Secretary of State. The Governor 
had to submit all legislative measures to this council, but 
AA^as empowered to act in opposition to its opinion. 
Nothing could be discussed by such council unless it 
Avas proposed by the Governor, who could, if he thought 
fit, dismiss any member. The meetings Avere to be held 
with closed doors, and each member had to take oath 
not to divulge any of the proceedings. The other 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 135 

iniI>oi'tiint recoiiiniendation wa.s to the effect that the 
Colony should bo divided into two provinces of approxi- 
mately ecpial extent, and that each province should 
have a sei)arate Government. 

The Currency. — At this j^eriod there was no coin in 
circulation in South Africa, the only currency being imi3er 
money, of which a total of upwards of Rds. 3,000,000 
was known to have been issued. But it Avas afterwards 
found that forged notes, to the value of about half a 
million, were also in existence, and this amount had 
eventually to be added to the sum to be redeemed. The 
only securities for the paper money were the public build- 
ings, and certain lands reserved by Government. But it 
was obvious that many of the principal buildings, such 
as the Castle and the forts, had no market value, and 
from time to time lands Avere permanently alienated or 
leased for long periods without any reduction in the 
paper money being made. Under such circumstances, 
the value of the notes being an unknown but rapidly fall- 
ing quantity, it was impossible for the Colony to prosper. 
Between 1810 and 1825 the value of the ryksdollar fell 
from 38. (Ul. to Is. Od. 

Value of the Ryksdollar fixed. — In June, 1825, an 
ordinance was promulgated in pursuance of an Order 
in Council dealing Avith the introduction of British 
coinage throughout the British possessions, which prac- 
tically fixed the value of the ryksdollar at l8. 6d. This 
was according to the current rate of exchange for coin 
or treasury bills. At the same time the British 
Government advanced money towards redeeming the 
imper. This step bore very heavily upon those to 
whom money was owed, while it was a corresponding 
advantage to the debtor. 

The Governor's Arbitrary Conduct. — Lord Charles 
Somerset's arbitiary and violent exercise of his power 
disturbed a veritable hornets' nest. He had failed to 
realise that with the introduction of the British settlei*s 
a new element had been imported into South Africa — 
that men imbued with a love of free institutions and 
civil rights, however unskilled in their exercise, ha<l 
fallen like a vigorous ferment into what had hitherto 
been, in a political sense, an inert mass. Such included 
individuals of considerable ability — men such as Thomas 
Priugle and John Fairbiiirn, for instance. These were 

136 A History of South Africa 

fully competent to fight effectively and to the last 
breath for their rights. The precept and example they 
originated raised many disciples whose teaching stung 
the Batavian to an energy which has since surprised 
his instructors. 

The Governor, by using his almost unconditioned 
power injudiciously, placed himself in the power of 
those who opposed him. He wasted public money most 
flagrantly, he filled important offices with unworthy 
and incompetent men. The slightest hint of opposition 
to his despotic will, on the part of any one, was sufficient 
to call forth his vengeance. Hating and distrusting 
men of independent mind, his ear was ever open to the 
sycophant and the tale-bearer. Lord Charles Somerset 
thus became completely estranged from the real life of 
the community over which he held sway. 

Struggle for the Freedom of the Press. — Messrs. 
Pringle and Fairbairn. — The struggle for the freedom 
of the press in South Africa began in 1823, when the 
Reverend Abraham Faure, of the Dutch Reformed 
Church in Cape Town, and Mr. Thomas Pringle, who 
was the Assistant Public Librarian, proposed to establish 
a monthly magazine. To this the Governor consented. 
The second number, however, contained an article upon 
the British Settlers, which included criticism of the 
administration of Albany. The Fiscal sent for Mr. 
Pringle and demanded security that in future no 
political or personal matter should appear in the columns 
of the magazine. This Mr. Pringle refused to give. 
He was then sent for by the Governor and accused of 
ingratitude. This accusation, which had no basis of 
fact, referred to the enlargement of the grant of land 
made to his party of settlers and his appointment as 
sub-librarian. Mr. Pringle resigned the appointment 
and discontinued the magazine. 

About this time a Mr. George Greig arrived at the 
Cape and started a paper called the South African 
Commercial Advertiser. Shortly afterwards two men 
named Cook and Edwards were, at the Governor's 
instigation, prosecuted for libel. A report of the trial 
appeared in the Comm^ercial A dvertiser. Later Edwards 
was again prosecuted, and in his defence he cast slurs 
upon Lord Charles Somerset's character. The Governor 
thereupon called upon Mr. Greig to furnish security to 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 137 

the amount of £750, that the terms uiM)n which the 
establishment of his i)ai)er had been granted would Ije 
adhered to. These terms were to the effect that all 
matters of i)olitical or i>ersonal controversy were to be 
excluded. The Fiscal was ordered to censor the paper 
and to suppress anything in it regarded as offensive. 
Thereupon the issue was discontinued i>ending an 
application for redress from the British Government. 
Mr. Greig let it be known that he intended issuing an 
advertising sheet, giving an account of what had 
occurred. Immediately the Governor ordered the press 
to be sealed up, and issued a warrant requiring Mr. 
Greig to leave the Colony within a month. Mr. Greig 
was still in possession of his type, and he managed to 
print and circulate slips giving an account of what 
ha^l occurred and offering the former for sale. The 
Governor then had the type sealed up and offered to 
purchase it at a valuation. This Mr. Greig was con- 
strained to agree to, as he required the money to pay 
for his passage. The type was handed over by the 
Governor to another ijrinter, who thereupon started 
a paper which praised highly the Governor and his 
policy. Mr. Greig proceeded to England, where he was 
received by the Secretary of State. The latter revei*sed 
Lord Charles Somerset's action, authorised Mr. Greig to 
return to Cape Town, issued instructions that his type 
was to be restored to him, and gave him permission to 
proceed with the publication of his newspaper. 

The GoYernor recalled.— His Resignation.— By these 
and similar proceedings, the Governor kept adding to 
the ranks of his enemies, w^ho were now both numerous 
and influential. The English Press took the matter up, 
and Parliament brought pressure to bear upon the 
Government. An opinion gained ground that the 
tulministration at the Cape was despotic and cor- 
rupt. The TinieSy on January 19, 1826, demanded that 
the Governor should be impeached. Four days pre- 
viously the Secretary of State had written to him to 
say that it had now " become expedient that he should 
repair home immediately to furnish the necessary 
explanations." Major-General Richard Bourke was 
sent to assume the administi'ation of the Colony. He 
arrived on February 8, 1820. Lord Charles Somerset 
left for England on March 5. Shortly after his arrival 

138 A History of South Africa 

in London, Parliament was dissolved. There had been 
a short discussion of his case just before the dissolution, 
but the matter was allowed to drop. Early in 1827 
Lord Goderich replaced Earl Bathurst at the Colonial 
Office, whereui3on Lord Charles Somerset resigned his 

In June the matter came once more before the 
House of Commons. By this time, however, general 
interest in it had flagged. After a more or less in- 
determinate discussion the matter was allowed to drop. 

The Amangwane. — In August, 1827, information 
reached Cape Town to the effect that several thousand 
Tembus had been driven across the Zwaart Kei River 
by an enemy from the north. This enemy turned out 
to be a horde of Amangwane, under Matiwane, which 
had ^been driven over the Drakensberg by Tshaka, the 
Zulu King, some years previously, and had since been 
wandering over the plains north of the Orange River. 
Having crossed the Orange near the present site of 
Aliwal North, the Amangwane fell upon the Tembus of 
Bawana's clan, and then took a north-easterly course 
until they settled down at Imbulumpini, in the valley 
of the Umtata. 

The Slaughter at Imbulumpini. — Death of Matiwane. 
— In 1828 Tshaka led a powerful army south-westward, 
and harried the country as far as the Bashee. A force 
was assembled to drive the Zulus back ; it numbered 
about one thousand, and was composed of both regular 
troops and burghers. Colonel Somerset was in command. 
In the mean time Tshaka and his army had retired with 
their spoil, but when Colonel Somerset's force reached 
Imbulumpini this was not known, and when the 
Amangwane were encountered they were taken to be 
Zvilus. At this time the Europeans had been joined by 
large auxiliary forces of Tembus and Gcalekas. The 
Amangwane army was estimated to number 20,000. It 
was attacked and destroyed — only a few fugitives 
escaping. Matiwane was among the latter. After 
wide wanderings the unhappy chief took refuge in 
Zululand. At this time Tshaka was dead and Dingaan 
ruled in his stead. By the latter' s orders Matiwane 
was blinded and tied to a tree until he starved to 

(To 1834) 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 

General Bourke as Acting-Governor. — During the period 
of General Bourke's administration various reforms 
were introduced. On August 24, 1827, the Charter of 
Justice received the King's signature. 

Supreme Court established. — Under it the Supreme 
Court was established. The latter was to consist of a 
Chief Justice and three puisne judges to be appointed 
by the Crown, all of whom had to be trained lawyers. 
Formerly judges had been appointed by the Governor 
and were removable at his pleasure. The first Chief 
Justice was Sir John Wilde. The office of Fiscal was 
abolished, and that of Attorney-General substituted. 
Circuit Courts were to be held twice a year in the 
principal towns and villages. 

Resident Magistrates and Civil Commissioners 
appointed. — An iniijortant change was also made in 
res])ect of the lower courts. Landdrosts and Heem- 
raaden were abolished. In place of the former, Resident 
Magistrates were apix)inted. These also were made 
Civil Commissioners, and as such entrusted with tlie 
collection of revenue and with general local adminis- 

Colony divided into two Provinces. — The Colony was 
divided into two provinces : the western included the 
districts of the Cape, Simonstown, Stellenbosch, 
Swellendam, and Worcester; and the eastern the 
districts of Beaufort, Graaff Reinet, Somerset, George, 
l^itenhage and Albany. For the Eastern Province 
Captain Andries Stockenstix^m was appointetl Com- 
missioner to contixjl administration subject to the 

I40 A History of South Africa 

The 50th Ordinance.— On July 17, 1828, was issued 
the 50th Ordinance, which relieved Hottentots and other 
free persons of colour from the operations of the pass 
laws and those laws respecting the apprenticeship of 
children. For some considerable time the Bushmen 
had ceased to give trouble. It had not been generally 
recognised that the most implacable enemy of the 
Bushman was the Hottentot. The Griquas and other 
half-breed Hottentot clans, who had established them- 
selves north of the Orange River, had shown no 
quarter to the Bushmen, immense numbers of whom 
perished. Those who survived, as a rule, put themselves 
under the control of some European, to whom they 
gave service in exchange for protection. But regular 
control or settled employment were things the Bush- 
men could not endure. Many efforts were made by 
missionaries to induce them to settle on mission 
stations, but such always failed. In the various laws 
promulgated the Bushmen and the Hottentot were 
invariably bracketed together, although they were 
radically and completely different from each other, — 
a circumstance their missionary advocates were un- 
aware of. 

Dr. Philip. — The 50th Ordinance theoretically placed 
the Hottentot and the Bushmen politically on a level 
with the European. The Secretary of State was moved 
to take the step of enacting this measure by the 
Reverend Dr. John Philip, who for upwards of thirty 
years took a prominent part in advocating the interests 
of the South African Natives. Dr. Philip was a man of 
great energy and fiery zeal. His cardinal tenet was 
that, except in the matter of education, the Native of 
any race was mentally equal to the European. 

His *' Researches." — His " Researches in South 
Africa," published in 1828, with the object of showing 
that the Hottentots were treated with habitual in- 
justice, confounds theories with facts, and has been 
proved to be unreliable in many important respects. 
On account of certain statements this book contained, 
Mr. William Mackey, an official, sued Dr. Philip for 
libel, and was awarded £200 damages and costs. The 
case was tried before a full bench ; the Chief Justice 
and the other two judges spoke in strong condemnation 
of the statements complained of. 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 141 

The publication of the " Researches " caused bitter 
indignation in South Africa, and aroused violent feeling 
on both sides, which has had a permanently bad effect. 
While giving Dr. Philip full credit for V^eing passion- 
ately persuaded of the justice of his contentions, one 
cannot avoid admitting that his influence upon South 
Africa, and upon the cause which he had most at heart, 
has not been beneficial. The 50th Ordinance, which he 
regarded as one of his great achievements, utterly 
failed of its object; to-day the Bushmen and the 
Hottentots are practically extinct. 

GoYernor Sir Lowry Cole — General Bourke held 
tlie position of Acting-Governor until September 9, 
1828, when Lord Charles Somerset's successor arrived. 
This was Lieuteuant-General Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, 
who was promoted from the Governorship of Mauri- 
tius. The Xosas on the eastern border were now again 
giving considerable trouble. Several clans had taken 
possession of tracts in the neutral territory which had 
been ceded by Gaika. 

Formation of Kat River Settlement — In 1829 it was 
found necessary to expel Maqoma from the Kat River 
valleys, and in the vacated land a number of locations 
populated by Hottentots were established. The land 
here w as very fertile ; all that which was suitable for 
cultivation was divided into plots of from four to six 
acres. To each location was attached a large com- 
monage. Grants were made to some two thousand 
persons. It was found necessary to arm the people so 
that they could prevent their cattle being driven 
off. This settlement was not successful. The Hot- 
tentot proved incapable of acquiring habits of settled 

Survey of Land between Koonap and Fish Rivers. 
— " No Dutch need apply." — In 1830 it was decided to 
grant a portion of the ceded territory to Europeans, 
under military tenure. The farms were to be approxi- 
mately three thousand morgen in extent; pei*sonal 
occupation was required, and on each such farm ha<l 
to be at least four able-bodied Euroi)e<ins fit to bear 
arms. The use of slave labour was prohibited. On 
these conditions about one hundred title deeds wei-e 
issued in respect of land between the Koonap and 
Fish Rivera to selected applicants, some of whom were 

142 A History of South Africa 

Dutch colonists and others British settlers. However, 
Lord Goderich disapproved of the scheme. He con- 
sented to the land being sold, bnt not granted free. 
It could, however, be sold only to English settlers or 
to Hottentots ; Dutch farmers were excluded. This 
preposterous action was one of the fruits of the calum- 
nies against the Dutch colonists of South Africa, 
which, begun by Barrow, had been so assiduously 
circulated in England. 

Ordinance regulating the Press. — In 1826 there 
occurred further difficulties between the Governor and 
the Commercial Advertiser. By direction of the Secre- 
tary of State the licence for that newspaper was 
cancelled. Mr. Fairbairn, the editor, proceeded to 
England, but was at first unable to obtain redress. 
However, after Sir George Murray had succeeded Earl 
Bathnrst at the Colonial Office, the licence of the paper 
was renewed, under certain conditions, and in 1829 an 
Ordinance was issued regulating the Press. This 
Ordinance was both stringent and illiberal, but it 
contained one most beneficial proviso. It removed the 
power of interference from the Executive to the 
Supreme Court. Soon several newspapers and other 
periodicals axjpeared. Two of the former still survive 
— one being the Zuid Afrikaan, which became incor- 
porated with the present 0ns Land, the other the 
Grahamstown Journal. The Commercial Advertiser 
became the organ of Dr. Philip and his school. Its 
unfair and prejudiced attitude for many years towards 
the people on the frontier, and their almost heart- 
breaking difficulties, caused bitter indignation. 

Death of Ndhlambi. — Ndhlambi, who had for so 
long been the terror of the Border Districts, died like 
an old lion in his lair near Mount Coke, on the Buffalo 
River, in 1828. He must have been nearly ninety years 
old. His " great son " was of feeble intellect, and never 
exercised any influence. Gaika, who had been for 
years a debauched drunkard, died some two years 
later. His heir, Sandile, was a lad, so Maqoma was 
appointed to hold the tribe during the period of 
minority. Sandile was as weak and unstable as his 
father had been, and was, moreover, deformed, one of 
his legs being shrunken. That Gaika was liis actual 
father Avas held to be very doubtful. However, the 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 143 

(iivmnstiince that the two men were so Hiniilar in 
cliaracter suggests that certain suspicions current at 
the time may liavc been unfounded. 

Character of Gaika. — Gaika's position as grandson 
of Raralx; in the "Great Line," and therefore legiti- 
mate chief of the great western division of the Xosa 
tribe, ^vas one of immense leverage ; but he had always 
been weak, vacillating, and self-indulgent. After 
1 Hiving overthrown Ndhlambi, who had as regent tried 
to usurp the head-chieftainship, he might, had he 
ruled judiciously, have consolidated all the clans west 
of the Kei, and restrained them from that raiding 
which had such ruinous consequences both to them 
and to the colonists. But almost at the outset of his 
cai'eer he committed an act which shocked his people 
and went far towards disintegrating his power. One 
of Ndhlambi's minor wives, a girl named Tutula, was 
famed for her beauty. Gaika took her into his harem 
after Ndhlambi's defeat. The morals of the Natives 
are lax in many aspects, but certain conventions are 
very strictly observed. This «ict of Gaika shocked the 
Xosa tribesmen very deeply, and was probably the 
principal cause of so many of his adherents abandon- 
ing him and joining Ndhlambj. 

Development of Missions. — In 1830 there had been a 
marked development of missions among the Bantu. 
On the Buffalo River, where King William's Town now 
stands, the London Society had established a station. 
The Wesleyans had six stations, one being close to the 
present site of Butterworth, and another at Bunting- 
ville, in remote Pondoland. The Glasgow Society had 
four stations, one being on the Tyume, where Lovedale 
stands to-day. The Moravians had opened their estab- 
lishment at Shiloh. Traders had now penetrated deep 
into Kaffirland, where they carried on a profitable 
])arter. But the shadow of impending war always 
liung over them, for depredations on the border were 
almost continuous, and the reprisals system, rendered 
necessary by circumstance, was not very different fiY>m 
localised warfare, that might at any moment flame out 
into a general conflagration. 

Opening of the South African College. — An im- 
portant event t<M)k place on October 1, 1829 ; this was 
the opening of the South African College. Eight years 

144 A History of South Africa 

later an Ordinance for the regulation of this institution 
Avas promulgated. 

Condition of the Northern Border.— Stuurman's Free- 
booters. — The northern border of the Colony was in a 
very unsatisfactory condition. Those islands in the 
Orange River which, at the beginning of the century, 
had been used by the freebooter Afrikaner as a base, 
were now used for the same purpose by a Hottentot 
bandit named Stuurman, who had a large following. 
This included ruffians of every breed and colour. 
Stuurman raided in every direction, and pillaged indis- 
criminately Avhite and black. Some of his raids ex- 
tended as far as the Nieuwveld and the Hantam. 
Farmers and their wives were murdered, children 
carried into captivity, flocks and herds were swept 
away. An Ordinance was promulgated by the 
Governor, giving officials on the border the power to 
call out commandos should necessity arise. This most 
salutary measure was, however, disallowed by the 
Secretary of State through the influence of Dr. Philiij 
and the Commercial Advertiser. In 1833 Stuurman's 
gang was defeated and dispersed by a commando of 
Europeans, assisted by a contingent of Griqvias under 
their recently elected chief. 

Andries Waterboer. — This man, Andries Waterboer, 
had been an assistant schoolmaster ; his election as 
Captain of Griquatown was fortunate in its immediate 
effects. He introduced discipline and settled govern- 
ment among the Griquas. The Cape Government 
supplied him with arms and ammunition to be used 
in restoring and maintaining order in his vicinity. In 
1834 a formal treaty was signed at Cape Town between 
the Governor and Waterboer— the first instance of a 
treaty being entered into between the European 
Government and a native chief in South Africa. 

Sir Benjamin D'Urban appointed Governor. — In 
August, 1833, Sir Lowry Cole resigned his post as 
Governor and proceeded to England. His successor was 
Major-General Sir Benjamin D'Urban, who had been 
Governor of Demerara. 

Merino Sheep. — It had now been proved that wool 
could be profitably produced in both the eastern and 
western districts. In 1829 six tons had been clipped 
on the farm " Zoetendals Vlei " in the present district 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 145 

of Breclasdorp, and in Albany many farmers were 
successfully breeding merino sheep. In 1834 a Joint 
Stock Company imi)orted well-bred stud stock with 





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the best results. The introduction of Angora goats 
was more difficult, but the efforts, at first baffled, were 
eventually successful. In jnirsuance of oi*ders fi*om 

146 A History of South Africa 

the Secretary of State, drastic retrenchment in the 
public service was carried out. 

Legislative and Executive Councils. — Acting under 
instructions embodied in his commission, Sir Benjamin 
D'Urban created a Legislative and an Executive Council. 
The former consisted of the five senior officials, and an 
equal number of colonists nominated by the Governor, 
who was President of the body. The Executive 
Council consisted of the senior military officer under 
the Governor, the Secretary to the Government, the 
Treasurer-General and the Attorney-General. This was 
a "council of advice," which, however, the Governor 
was not bound to follow. It is evident that Sir 
Benjamin D'Urban was in the first instance strongly 
under the influence of the school represented by Dr. 
Philip and Mr. Fairbairn, and that, for a time, he 
believed in the hopeless policy of conciliating the 
Natives on the eastern frontier. In the latter part of 
1833 Dr. Philip visited the various Xosa chiefs, it is 
believed as the emissary of the Governor. After a 
short interval of comparative quiet, depredations re- 
commenced. Before the end of December a horde of 
Xosas swept over the border, and another terrible war 
broke out. 

The Sixth Kaffir War.— Frightful Devastation.— The 
country was laid waste as far west as Uitenhage and 
Somerset East. Twenty-two farmers were killed, but 
their wives and children were permitted to escape. 
Had intelligence of the invasion not spread with great 
rapidity, the loss of life would have been much heavier. 
But the devastation was frightful ; 456 homesteads 
were burnt; 120,645 cattle and horses and 162,000 
sheep and goats were swept away. In Kaffirland ten 
traders were murdered. 

The Province of Queen Adelaide.— The country had 
been much denuded of troops. However, all those 
available were hurried to the frontier. The burghers 
were again called out. Hintza, the Gcaleka chief, after 
professing neutrality, joined the western clans. After 
much heavy fighting the enemy were driven back and 
pursued across the Kei. Hintza submitted, and gave 
himself up as a hostage, but was shot in attempting to 
escape. Peace was restored in May, 1835. The Great 
Kei River, from its source in the Stormberg to the sea, 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 147 

wa.s now proclaiined at? the boundary of the Colony. 
The tract lying l>etween the Kei and the former 
boundary, the Keiskanima, was annexed and named 
the " Province of Queen Adelaide." Small forts were 
constructed at various strategic points. One on the 
Buffalo River, which was the headquarters of the com- 
mandant of the province, was named King William's 
Town. An indemnity to be paid, in the native currency 
of cattle, was also imposed upon the defeated clans. 

The Fingos, a Satisfactory Settlement.— At this time 
there were, living in a state of subjection to the 
Gcalekas, a number of Natives who had fled from the 
vicinity of what is now Natal, in consequence of 
the wars waged by Tshaka, the Zulu king. These 
people were known as the Fingos. This word is a 
corruption of the term " Amamfengu," which means 
"people who beg their bread." A number of Fingo 
chiefs sought an interview with the Governor, and 
asked to be taken under Government protection. This 
request was acceded to. The Fingos were located in 
the country between the Keiskamma and Fish Rivers 
in the present district of Peddie. They numbered 
roughly about 18,000, of whom only about 2000 were 

Lord Glenelg's Action. — To the horror and despair 
of the colonists. Lord Glenelg, the Secretary of State, 
reversed the settlement. Accordingly, with the ex- 
ception of a small portion of the present district of 
Peddie, all the country east of the Fish River was 
handed back to the Kaffirs. In a despatch, which is 
perhaps the most extraordinary document of its kind 
ever penned, he threw all the blame for the war upon 
the European colonists. Here is a quotation — 

"Urged to revenge and desperation by the syste- 
matic injustice of which they, the Kaffirs, had been 
the victims, I am compelled to embrace, however re- 
luctantly, the conclusion that they had a perfect right 
to hazard the experiment, however hopeless, of extort- 
ing by force that redress which they could not expect 
otherwise to obtain." 

Unaccountable Action of Captain Stockenstrom.— 
Lord Glenelg's action becomes intelligible when one 
examines the influences just then brought to bear 
utK)n him, and remembers that his sympathies were 

148 A History of South Africa 

always with aboriginal peoples as against the dominant 
race. A committee of the House of Commons was 
taking evidence as to the conditions of the aborigines 
in the various British colonies — the chairman was a 
pronounced negrophilist. Dr. Philip appeared before 
this committee with two natives. One, Jan Tshatshu, 
was a petty chief ; the other a man of mixed race. 
These individuals, as Dr. Tlieal says, " spoke in accord- 
ance with their training." They were lionised through- 
out England; They were entertained by the highest 
in the land, and at banquets led titled ladies to the 
table. Tshatshu, it may be mentioned, became a sorry 
backslider. He took to drink, and was expelled from 
membership of his church. But the most astonishing 
evidence given before the committee was that of 
Captain Andries Stockenstrom, the late Commissioner 
for the Eastern Province. This gentleman's reputation 
was deservedly high ; naturally what he said carried 
great weight. The cumulative effect of his evidence 
was to show that in the border troubles the Europeans 
had been the aggressors, that the whole policy pursued 
on the frontier was wrong, and that the Natives were 
not specially addicted to dishonesty. It is quite true 
that if one eliminated thefts of cattle, — which, according 
to the native code, were rather virtuous than vicious, — 
the Native as a rule was not a thief. However, fine 
ethical distinctions could under the circumstances 
hardly be expected to appeal to the harassed frontier 

The evidence was capable of being refuted, but 
before the refutation could eventuate irreparable mis- 
chief had been done. Such evidence was in contradic- 
tion to Captain Stockenstrom' s own acts and written 
statements. The episode has been much debated, but 
no convincing explanation of the extraordinary line 
which Captain Stockenstrom took has ever been given. 

The Treaty Policy.— It has been suggested that 
possibly the key to the mystery is to be found in the 
mutual dislike and rivalry which had long existed 
between the Commissioner and Colonel Somerset, Avho 
held military command on the eastern frontier. Captain 
Stockenstrom strongly advocated the policy of entering 
into treaties Avitli the Native chiefs. He returned to 
South Africa as Lieutenant-Governor of the eastern 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 149 

districts, and witli instructions to put this policy into 
effect. He proceeded to the frontier and handed back 
to the various chiefs the several territories which had 
been annexed. The treaties were prepared and exe- 
cuted ; to the principal chiefs consular agents were 
assigned. In each treaty the Native chief concerned 
was placed on an etiuality with the British Crown. 

The settlement brought no satisfaction, yet it laste<l 
in a way for ten years. During this period many 
murders were committed, many cattle were looted, 
many raids and reprisals took place. The Pingos 
were attacked, and the Tembus looted the farmers of 
the Somerset district. After four years' exi)erience of 
the new system, the Governor reported to the Secretary 
of State that it was a complete failure. 

Difficulties of Captain Stockenstrom. — The Lieu- 
tenant-Governor's position in the Eastern Province 
was a most unpleasant one. The colonists were 
smarting over the unfounded accusations he had 
brought against them ; he was distrusted and dis- 
liked by all except the Philip-Pairbairn combination. 
He brought an action for libel against the Civil Com- 
missioner of Albany and lost the case. A charge was 
laid against him to the effect that in some previous 
military operations he had shot a Kaffir boy under 
discreditable circumstances. He was tried on this 
charge in 1838 before a court consisting of the 
Governor and two military officers ; the verdict was 
to the effect that a Kaffir had been shot, but that 
the shooting was justifiable as an ordinary act 
of war. Thereupon Captain Stockenstrom proceeded 
to England and placed his resignation in the hands 
of the Secretary of State. Lord Glenelg offered to 
reinstate him at an increased salary, but just then 
Lord Glenelg himself was called upon to resign. 
Eventually Captain Stockenstrom retired with a 
baronetcy and a pension of £700 per annum. Even 
his worst enemies had to admit that he had done 
excellent work on the frontier, both in developing the 
resources of the country and in reorganising the Civil 
Service. Colonel Hare succeeded to the Lieutenant- 
Governorship, but Avith restricted powei*s. 

The Governor says what he thinks.— Sir Benjamin 
D*Urban had Ijeen in the early days of his period of 

150 A History of South Africa 

rule largely dominated by the ideas of those who had 
influenced Lord Glenelg. But a few months spent on 
the frontier had opened his eyes and altered his views. 
Now, however, he had no choice but to carry out the 
preposterous orders of his chief. His personal views 
on the matter may be inferred from the following 
extract from his acknowledgment of the despatch : — 

" It is my duty to obey the commands which your 
Lordship has conveyed to me, and I shall endeavour to 
do so with as little mischief to the Colony and to all 
concerned as may be compatible with that obedience." 

Abolition of Slavery. — In 1834 slavery was abolished 
in South Africa. The slaves had to remain with their 
masters as apprentices for four years. It had been 
known for some time that this step was to be taken. 
Even in the days of the Batavian Government plans 
were being matured for bringing about gradual eman- 
cipation, on the principles of declaring children born 
after a certain date to be free. Suggestions to the 
same effect had subsequently emanated from the slave- 
holders themselves. There can be no doubt that in 
the long run a gradual emancipation in some form or 
another would have been far better for all concerned 
than a sudden one, — more especially when the latter 
was unaccompanied by the enactment of an adequate 
vagrancy law. Slavery, inherently vile and inde- 
fensible as it is in any form or under any circum- 
stances, was, in the opinion of impartial observers, 
less irksome in the Cape Colony than elsewhere. 

Gross 0£9cial Mismanagement. — At the date of 
emancipation there were 39,021 slaves in the Cape 
Colony. These had been appraised by Commissioners 
appointed by the Government at a sum of £3,041,290. 
The owners naturally expected to be paid according to 
this appraisement. However, in the year following the 
emancipation it was announced that of the twenty 
millions sterling voted to compensate owners in the 
nineteen British Colonies where slavery had been 
permitted, only £1,247,401 was assigned to the Cape. 
From this sum had to be deducted the cost of carrying 
out the Emancipation Act. A further announcement 
fell like a thunderbolt : each claim had to be proved 
before Commissioners sitting in London, and the 
amounts found to be due were to be paid in three 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 151 

?iii(] a Iialf \}er cent, stock. Moreover, each application 
liad to bear stamps to the value of thirty shillings. 
Tlic offer of payment at Tahiti in a currency of edible 
bii'ds' nests would have Ijeen as intelligible to the 
Boers. Widespread I'uin was the result. Most of the 
slaves were mortgaged, and the mortgage bonds con- 
tained general clauses. S[)eculators went round among 
the i)eople and i>urchased the claims for a fraction of 
their value. Thus, the good effect of an act of great 
nobility on the i)art of the British nation was utterly 
destroyed by official muddling. 

Increase of Vagrancy. — An attempt was made in 
1884 to iMiss an adetpiate Vagrancy Law through the 



Legislative Council. Again Dr. Philip and the Com- 
mercial Advertiser raised their voices in strenuous 
opposition. So the measure had to be dropi3ed. Cer- 
tain old laws against vagrants had been hitherto 
enforced ; on an examination of the basis of these, 
however, the judges found that although such could be 
.•il)l)lied in the case of European vagrants— wlio wei*e 
non-existent— they were inoperative against Hottentots 
or other i>ersons of colour. The result was that the 
country became filled with wandering Hottentots and 
others of nondescript breed, who lived by thieving. 

152 A History of South Africa 

killing game, and robbing bees' nests ; doing, in fact, 
anything but working. 

Dismissal of Sir Benjamin D'Urban.— Sir Benjamin 
D' Urban was dismissed from his post of Governor at 
the end of 1837. Time has shown that those views 
which he expressed with such firmness and which led 
to his dismissal were just and right. The military 
authorities did not concur with Lord Glenelg's opinion 
of his incapacity, for he was immediately offered an 
important military post in India. 

(To 1840) 

The Great Trek 

The "Great Trek."— One of the hinges, to use Proude*8 
phrase, in the histoiy of South Africa, lis what is 
known as the "Great Trek," that migration of some 
10,000 Europeans from the sparsely-peopled Cape Colony 
to the unknown north — to regions occupied only by 
wandering hordes of savages and wild animals. The 
migration began on a small scale in 1833 ; it was inter- 
rupted owing to the outbreak of war on the eastern 
frontier for some two years. It recommenced and 
reached its culmination in 1836, but went on inter- 
mittently until 1840. 

Its Causes. — The causes of the movement are easily 
found ; some dated from immediately after the annex- 
ation in 1806. Various more or less misleading reasons 
have been assigned, among others the abolition of 
slavery. It is true that the emancipation grievance 
was given a prominent place in the manifesto drawn 
up by Retief, one of the leaders, but this is to be 
accounted for by the circumstance that the methods 
under which emancipation was carried out embodied 
one of the most recent of the grievances. One cannot, 
however, ignore the fact that with very few excep- 
tions the " Voor-Trekkers " were not slave ownere. 
Another grievance was the depreciation of the ryks- 
dolhir. By a stroke of the pen many men to whom 
money was legitimately owed found the amounts due 
to them reduced by five-eights, but the main cause of 
the trek is to be found in the blundering and vacillat- 
ing ix)liey pursue<l towards the warlike and aggi-essive 
hordes of Bantu uiK)n the eastern frontier. 

Lord Glenelg's Opinion. — A gi*eat deal moi*e might 

154 A History of South Africa 

be said of the grievous injustice with which the in- 
habitants of the frontier were treated. The foregoing 
should, however, sufficiently explain the exodus. It 
has repeatedly been stated that these people who 
decided to brave the dangers of the unknown did so 
because they were restless spirits, impatient of control 
in any form, and unwilling to submit to the restraints 
of civilisation. This view Avas expressed by Lord Glenelg 
as follows : — 

"The motives of the migration were the same as 
had in all ages impelled the strong to encroach upon 
the weak, and the powerful and unprincipled to wrest 
by force or fraud, from the comparatively feeble and 
defenceless, w^ealth, or property, or dominion." 

Sir Benjamin D'Urban's Testimony.— Sir Benjamin 
D' Urban, the man on the spot, took another view. He 
attributed the trek to " insecurity of life and property 
^ occasioned by the recent measures ; inadequate com- 
pensation for loss of the slaves, and despair of obtain- 
ing recompense for the ruinous losses of the Kaffir 
Invasion." He described the emigrants as " a brave, 
patient, industrious, orderly, and religious people, the 
cultivators and defenders and the taxpayers of the 

The exodus was almost wholly from the midland 
and eastern districts of the Colony. The people sold 
their farms for whatever they might fetch and formed 
camps under different leaders. The strong, heavy, 
springless wagons were loaded with the most indis- 
pensable household goods, with a liberal store of gun- 
powder and lead. Then with their wives, their children, 
and their stock the Voor-Trekkers crossed the colonial 
boundary, emphatically declaring that in doing so they 
finally threw off all allegiance to Great Britain. 

At the time of the trek the north-eastern boundary 
of the Colony Avas the course of the Orange River from 
the western limit of Colesberg to the junction of the 
Orange River and the Kraai. On the northern bank 
of the former were located the Griquas. Contrary to 
what had been anticipated, the relations between the 
Voor-Trekkers and these people appear to have been 
quite friendly. Pasturage was hired from them and 
paid for in cattle. In other parts where Bushmen 
were located the same rule was followed. This is 

The Great Trek 


('ori-()lx)rate(I by the traveller Bain, who visited these 
regions in 1834. 

The First of the Trekkers.— Their Misfortunes.— The 
first of the N'oortrekkers — tliose who were really the 
])ioiieeis of the movement — were the parties under the 
leadersliip of Triechard and Van Rensberg. They 
reached the Vaal River in February, 1834. They pressed 
northward, unmolested — unaccountably enough — by 
the Matabele. In December, 1835, they reached the 


L *^ L 

/ ^ IS ^ 19 

^ '-1b ^30 

4 ^t8 

5 ^19 

6 i.ZO 

9 ^23 

10 ^Z4 
fl ^25 

/3. 27 
/4^ 2B 

^ JroV-trrv^-e^' 


region now known as Zoutpansberg. Here it was 
arranged that Van Rensberg should explore to the 
eastward, so he and his followers — forty-eight in number 
— descended from the great inland plateau into the low 
country. They were never heard of again. From 
rumours subsequently gathered among the natives, 
there is reason to believe that they were massacred by 
the Makwamba tribe. Triechard and his party, after 
a delay of four months, also started eastward, their 
object being to oi>en up communication with Delagoa 

156 A History of South Africa 

Bay. Ill the low country their oxen and horses were 
destroyed by the tsetse fly, the existence of which they 
had been unaware of. After terrible hardships the 
party reached Lourengo Marques, where all bvit a few 
died of fever. 

The Rendezvous at Thaba-Ntshu. — Lions. — The sub- 
sequent parties of Voortrekkers made Thaba-Ntshu, 
some forty miles to the eastward of what is now Bloem- 
fontein, their first rallying point. Here the Barolong 
Chief, Moroko, held sway. The relations between the 
Voor-Trekkers and the Barolong appear to have been 
excellent. The regions traversed were full of danger ; 
each man literally carried, not alone his own life, but 
the lives of his wife and children, in his hand. Lions 
abounded to an almost inconceivable extent. In the 
vicinity of Thaba-Ntshu 249 of these animals were shot 
before September, 1837, and it was said that they were 
more numerous in other parts. Over the wide plains 
the game depastured in endless variety. 

Potgieter and Maritz. — Among the more prominent 
of the leaders of the trek may be mentioned Andries 
Hendrick Potgieter. His following was composed of 
farmers from the Tarka and Colesberg districts. Among 
them was Casper Kruger, — who subsequently held a 
command at the battle of Boomplaats, — and his son 
Paul, then about ten years old, who afterwards became 
President of the South African Republic. Another 
prominent leader was Gerrit Marthinus Maritz, whose 
following was composed of farmers from the midland 
district of Graaff' Reinet. The clergy of the Dutch 
Reformed Church strenuously opposed the trek ; they 
feared, no doubt, the uncivilising effect of the wilder- 
ness life upon the people. It is nevertheless a some- 
what remarkable circumstance that not a single clergy- 
man joined in the exodus. 

The " Protectors of the Voice of the People."— On 
December 2, 1836, an assembly of the Emigrants was 
held at Thaba-Ntshu, and a governing body was 
elected. This consisted of seven members, who were 
termed " Protectors of the Voice of the People." They 
exercised both legislative and judicial functions. 

The Matabele. — When Maritz and his party arrived, 
Potgieter and his followers had just returned from the 
north, where they had suffered grievously at the hands 

The Great Trek 


158 A History of South Africa 

of the Matabele. Umziligazi, the Matabele chief, exer- 
cised a reign of terror over the greater part of that 
vast tract now known as the Transvaal and the Free 
State. His " Great Place " was in the vicinity of ^vhere 
Potchefstroom stands to-day. From here he sent out 
raiding parties in every direction, slaughtering all 
whom his spears might reach. 

Massacre of the Liebenbergs. — The Laager at Yecht- 
kop. — One party, that of the Liebenbergs, had been 
massacred, hardly any one escaping. But a laager of 
the other Emigrants was formed at a spot since known 
as Vechtkop. Here fifty wagons were drawn up in 
a circle and lashed together, the spaces between the 
wheels being closed with thorn trees. The Matabele 
attacked, but were driven off with heavy loss. Up- 
wards of a hundred spears were hurled over the 
wagon-ramparts. On the side of the Voortrekkers 
only two men were killed and twelve wovmded. 

Kindness of the Barolong. — In their retreat the 
Matabele carried off all the stock belonging to the 
laager. The Voortrekkers were now in evil case, but 
relief came from Thaba-Ntshu, for the Barolong chief 
lent oxen for the purpose of hauling back the Avagons. 
This chief treated the distressed Voortrekkers with 
great kindness, supplying them with corn and lending 
milch cows for the use of the famished children. 

Dissensions. — The " Grondwet " framed. — At Thaba- 
Ntshu difficulties arose between Potgieter and Maritz, 
but in April, 1837, Pieter Mauritz Retief arrived 
with seven families from the Winterberg, and the 
points of difference were for the time amicably 
settled. On June 6 a general meeting was held at 
Winberg, close to Vechtkop. A new Volksraad was 
elected, and a " Grondwet " or constitution drawn 
up. In terms of this all European inhabitants and 
future immigrants were to be citizens of the new 
state. All citizens were to have equal rights ; 
slavery was not to be allowed ; the Dutch Reformed 
Church was to be the State Church; Natives were 
to be under the protection of the law. But civil 
and political equality between white and coloured was 
distinctly repudiated, and no one could obtain the 
rights of citizenship without making a declaration on 
oath that he had no connection with the London 

The Great Trek 


Missionary Society. Mr. lletief was given chief execu- 
tive i)()uer with the title of Governor, and Mr. Maritz 
was elected President of the Volksniad. 

Great Victory over the Matabele.— Flight of Um- 
ziligazi. — One of the first undertakings of the new 
executive was the meting out of retribution to the 
Matabele. In November an exi)edition set forth. 
Umziligazi, with Kalipa— his chief fighting "induna** 


or general— happened to be absent when the attack 
was made. But the spears of the Matabele were use- 
less against the arms of Europeans. Moi*eover, the 
latter were well mounte<l, and could choose their 
own distance. The battle lasted several days. The 
Natives were so sevei'ely punished that they fled 
northward, crossed the Limpopo, and finally settle<l 
down in what we know as Matabeleland. Umziligazi 
(the word approi)riately enough means " trail of 

i6o A History of South Africa 

blood ") established his " Great Place " at Buluwayo. 
After the exijulsion of the Matabele the Voor- 
trekker Executive issued a proclamation assuming 
sovereignty over the whole of the immense territory 
within which the spears of Umziligazi had exercised 
their exterminating sway, and which was practically 
uninhabited. This included most of the late South 
African Republic, about half of the Orange Free State, 
and Southern Bechuanaland — to the eastern bounds of 
the Kalahari Desert. 

Retief goes to Natal. — Differences between Potgieter 
and Maritz again arose, and this time in a more acute 
form. Retief endeavoured once more to compose the 
quarrel, but without success. Other parties of Voor- 
trekkers were drawn into the dispute. Retief, having 
obtained knowledge of Natal from a party under Pieter 
Uys, which had visited that country in 1834, was in 
favour of the whole body of Voortrekkers crossing 
the Drakensberg and taking possession of the country 
between that range and the sea. The tract in question 
had been almost depopulated by the impis of Tshaka, 
the Zulu King. A feAV Europeans had established 
themselves at the present site of Durban, where they 
dwelt under a kind of vassalage to Tshaka' s successor, 
Dingaan. It is estimated that the whole of what we 
now call Natal at that time contained somewhat less 
than 7000 Native inhabitants. These were refugees 
and disorganised fragments of a large number of clans, 
many of which had been practically exterminated ; 
they existed in constant fear of their lives. In October, 
1837, Retief, accompanied by six others, left Thaba- 
Ntshu on horseback, and went eastward until they 
^ reached the Bay of Natal, where they were warmly 
welcomed by the members of the small European 

He Yisits Dingaan. — A. Treaty. — From there they pro- 
ceeded to Umkungunhlovu, where Dingaan received 
them with apparent friendliness, entertained them 
with dances and military manoeuvres, and agreed to 
cede to the Emigrant Farmers the country lying be- 
tween the Tugela and Umzimvubu Rivers, on condition 
that they recovered certain cattle which had been 
taken from the Zulus by Sikonyella, Chief of the Bath- 
lokua. Retief and his six companions returned to 

The Great Trek i6i 

where his followers were impatiently waiting. By 
means of a nise he got Sikonyella into his power, and 
forced him to disgorge Dingaan's cattle. 

The Emigrant Farmers cross the Drakensberg.— 
Then the Emigrant Farmers descended the steep Dra- 
kensberg with their long train of seven hundred ox- 
drawn wagons, in which were their wives and children 
and their. scanty household goods. Along each side of 
the track were driven their flocks and herds. As they 
gazed down upon the magnificent landscape with its 
fertile, uninhabited valleys — after passing over the 
bare upland plains — their new heritage must have 
seemed to the weary Voortrekkers a veritable land of 

Massacre of Retief and his Party. — Among the 
smiling slopes and glades through which the Blaaw- 
krantz and Bushman streams flow to the Tugela, the 
well-contented people scattered, each family choosing 
the site that pleased it. Retief then rounded up the 
recovered cattle, and started with them for the " Great 
Place ' of the Zulu King. He was accompanied by 
about sixty European men and a few boys, as well as 
by thirty Hottentot herds. Some of his friends had a 
premonition of disaster, and begged him not to go. 
The party arrived at Umkungunhlovu on February 3, 
1838. Their reception was most friendly ; Dingaan 
caused a deed to be drawn up by Mr. Owen, a mis- 
sionaiy whom he had permitted to reside near the 
" Great Place," ratifying the verbal cession of territory 
he had previously made. On February 6 Retief and 
his companions prepared to depart. They went to 
take leave of Dingaan, who sat in his large cattle- 
kraal surrounded by a numerous force of armed men. 
The Farmers had been requested, in accordance with 
Zulu custom, to discard their arms before coming into 
the King's presence. This they did, piling their guns 
outside the kraal's entrance. Upon entering, they wei*e 
invited to sit down and partake of beer. 

Suddenly, at a signal from Dingaan, the Zulus 
sprang on the Farmers and seized them. After a 
desperate struggle they were dragged away to an 
adjacent hill where executions commonly took place. 
There they were desimtched by having their heads 
smashed in with clubs. The Hottentot servants who 


1 62 A History of South Africa 

had been sent to fetch in the horses from the veld 
were killed on their return. 

The Laagers attacked. — Immediately an army, 
10,000 strong, was despatched with orders to destroy 
all the Voortrekkers. In the early morning of 
February 17, the Zulus, having divided themselves 
into detachments, fell upon several encampments of 
unsuspecting Farmers in the vicinity of the Tugela, 
and massacred them : men, women, and children in- 
discriminately. Fortunately two or three young men 
were able to escape and warn those who had camped 
some distance away. The latter hurriedly threw them- 
selves into laager and were thus enabled successfully 
to resist the onslaught, in which the Zulus lost heavily. 
When the latter withdrew they left of the Europeans 
41 men, 56 women, and 185 children dead among the 
cinders of the burnt wagons. All the stock of the 
Farmers was swept away. The spot where this 
dreadful tragedy took place was named " Weenen'' 
(Weeping). The survivors assembled in council to 
discuss the situation. It was proposed by some that 
they should retire over the Drakensberg ; but the 
women of the party strongly opposed this, declaring 
that they would not leave until vengeance had been 
taken on the murderers of their kin. Then all lifted 
up their voices in prayer to the God of their Fathers 
that He might sustain them in the hour of their trial 
and assist them towards a righteous vengeance. 

Expeditions against Dingaan. — Assistance soon 
came ; upon news of the disaster reaching the main 
body of the Voortrekkers, a force under Command- 
ants Potgieter and Uys pressed swiftly over the 
Drakensberg. The English at the Bay of Natal, two 
of whom had shared the fate of Retief and his com- 
panions, offered assistance. These now had a large 
following of Natives, many of whom were armed with 
muskets. In April, two expeditions, one from Weenen 
and one from the Bay, set forth for Dingaan' s capital. 
Owing to internal dissensions the latter expedition had 
to return ; that of the Emigrants, under Potgieter and 
Uys, went on. It numbered 347 men, all well armed 
and mounted. 

Narrow Escape of the Emigrant Farmers. — Death 
of Commandant Uys. — It is impossible to over-estimate 

The Great Trek 163 

tlie biavery of these men. Without stores, without 
any base, they advanced to attack a chief who could 
oppose them with probably 40,000 physically powerful 
and highly-disciplined soldiers. For Ave days their 
inarch was unresisted; then a strong division of the 
Zulu army was seen. Upon this an attack was at once 
made, but it soon became clear that the Farmers had 
fallen into an ambuscade ; a numerous force had closed 
u])on their rear and cut them off. By striking their 
immense oxhide shields with the handles of their si3ears 
the Zulus made a thunderous din ; this frightened the 
horses to such an extent that they became unmanage- 

rhoto: T. D. Baventcro/t.^ 


able. The Farmers had to retreat ; they were only able 
to escape by concentrating their fire upon one portion 
of the ring of foes which massed around them, and 
breaking through the gap thus created. Their loss was 
ten men killed, besides their led horses, their baggage^ 
and their spare ammunition. Commandant Uys was 
one of the slain. While endeavouring to succour a 
wounded man he was stabbed with a si^ear. He 
called upon his comrades to fight their way out and 
leave him, but his son Dirk, a boy of fifteen, i-ushed to 
the ht'lp of his father and ^vas killed at his side. 

Disastrous Expedition from Port Natal.— In the 
mean time the English at the Bay of Natal had 

1 64 A History of South Africa 

organised another expedition. It consisted of 17 Euro- 
peans and 1500 Natives, over 300 of whom had firearms. 
This force met with complete disaster ; it was enticed 
across the Tugela by a ruse and found itself between 
the horns of a powerful Zulu army. A desperate 
contest took place ; several times in succession furious 
charges were repulsed, bvit the Zulus received reinforce- 
ments which enabled them to divide the Natal army 
like a wedge. The defeat was complete. From the 
one section four Englishmen and about 500 Natives 
escaped ; the other section was utterly exterminated, 
but only after a desperate fight in the course of which 
several thousands of the enemy were killed. The 
victorious Zulus marched to the Bay of Natal ; fortu- 
nately a small vessel, the Comet, was there anchored, 
and thus the few surviving residents were enabled to 
escape. The Zulus destroyed everything found in the 
settlement, and then returned to Umkungunhlovu. 

Potgieter retires across the Drakensberg. — Com- 
mandant Potgieter with his following retired over the 
Drakensberg. On the Mooi River they founded a 
village, which was named Potchefstroom in honour of 
their leader. Thus was formed the first settlement of 
Europeans north of the Vaal. Here was established 
an independent government, which claimed authority 
over the whole Transvaal as well as a considerable 
portion of what is now the Orange Free State. Near 
Winburg and in various localities south of the Vaal were 
independent parties of Emigrant Farmers, individu- 
ally experimenting in forms of government based upon 
Biblical history. Potgieter had been blamed by some 
of the Emigrants for the defeat which the commando 
had sustained. However, a number of fresh parties 
from the Cape Colony arrived. In August Dingaan 
again sent an army against the Farmers. On three 
successive days the laager on the Bushman River was 
violently attacked, but the Zulus were beaten off with 
heavy loss. 

Arrival of Andries Pretorius. — Among the new 
arrivals was one Andries Willem Jacobus Pretorius, 
from Graaff Reinet. Mr. Pretorius, who was a man of 
high character and great ability, was elected Com- 
mandant-General. Early in December he assembled a 
commando of about 470 men with which to attack 

The Great Trek 165 

Diugaaii. Most of the rivers were in flood, so the 
expedition had to cross the Tugela near its source in 
tlie Drakensberg, The commando was accompanied by- 
wagons, which were each night drawn into a circle and 
lashed together. A few light cannon were also taken. 
At every halting-place fervent prayers for victory were 
offered up by the Farmers, and a vow was made that if 
such were granted they would build a church and set 
apart a festival day in each year in thankful com- 
memoration. This vow has been faithfully kept. 

Great Victory at Blood River.— On December 15, 
1838, the little force camped close to the bank of a 
river into which a deep donga led. The laager stood 
on the angle thus formed, and was accordingly pro- 
tected on two sides. At dawn next morning a powerful 
Zulu army rushed to the attack. For full two hours 
successive charges broke upon the two open sides, but 
the steady fire from the Farmers' guns and the small 
field pieces mowed the enemy down. Mr. Pretorius 
emerged from the camp with a small body of horsemen 
and attacked the enemy in the rear. The Zulus then 
broke and fled, leaving over 3000 of their number dead 
on the field. The river, which that day ran red, has 
since been known as the Blood River. 

Destruction of Umkungunhlovu.— Flight of Dingaan. 
— The commando moved forward to Umkungunhlovu, 
which was found to be in flames ; Dingaan had just 
previously fled into the jungles of the Umvlosi River. 
On the Execution Hill the skeletons of Retief and his 
companions, who had been slain ten months previously, 
were found. The thongs with which the unfortunate 
men had been dragged to their doom were still attached 
to their remains. Those of Mr. Retief were recognised, 
and in his leather bag was found in perfect pi*eserva- 
tion the Deed of Cession granted by Dinga^m. The 
remains were collected and buried. 

An Ambush. — A detachment of 280 men were sent 
in pursuit of Dingaan. This was surrounded by Zulus, 
and had to cut its way out with a loss of six of its 
number. The commando then returned, capturing on 
its way about 5000 head of cattle. In May the Emi- 
grants, with the concurrence of the English residing 
at the Bay of Natal, issued a proclamation, taking 
possession of the Bay in the name of **The South African 

1 66 A History of South Africa 

Emigrants." In July the Governor of the Cape Colony 
issued another proclamation in terms of which the 
Emigrants were ordered to return, and were promised 
redress of grievances. The proclamation also stated 
that the Emigrants could not be absolved from their 
allegiance to the British Crown, and that whenever it 
was considered advisable the Governor would take 
possession of the Bay of Natal. 

British Occupation of the Bay of Natal.— Departure 
of the British. — This actually happened in November. 
British troops landed and seized a zone two miles wide 
from high-water mark surrounding the Bay. Within 
the area was stored some ammunition belonging to the 
Emigrants ; this was seized. In December, 1839, the 
British force abandoned the Bay of Natal ; the British 
Commandant returned the impounded ammunition to 
the Emigrants, but informed them that they were still 
considered to be British subjects. 

Pietermaritzburg founded. — In March, 1839, the 
town of Pietermaritzburg was founded ; the name 
being given in honour of the late Pieter Retief and 
Gerrit Maritz. Here the Volksraad of the Emigrants 
assembled ; it consisted of twenty-four annually elected 
members, and met four times a year. Dingaan, who 
was a treacherous, bloodthirsty tyrant — in some respects 
more brutal even than his predecessor, Tshaka, had 
become hated by certain sections of his people. 

Panda makes Overtures.— Dingaan deposed.— The 
slaying of Tambusa.— In the early part of 1840 a brother 
of Dingaan, named Umpande, — known to the Europeans 
as Panda, conspired against him. Panda was joined by 
a powerful Induna named Nongalaza, who commanded 
the district north of the Tugela. He sent messages to the 
Europeans asking for their support. Panda was at first 
distrusted, but he appeared before the Volksraad in 
October and satisfied it as to his sincerity. He and 
his followers were given temporary occupation of land 
between the Tugela and Umvoti Rivers. It was then 
decided to depose Dingaan and install Panda in his 
place. Accordingly a burgher commando of 400 men 
assembled, and, in conjunction with an impi some 6000 
strong, led by Nongalaza, set out for Zululand, under 
Commandant-General Pretorius. The latter had been 
instructed to demand from Dingaan 40,000 head of 

The Great Trek 167 

cattle ; it was well known that this demand would be 
refused. Din^aan sent messages to the Emigrants, to 
the effect that he wished to come to terms. One of 
the envoys was an influential induna named Tambusa. 
What now occurred leaves an indelible stain upon the 
character of Pretorius. Tambusa and his servant were 
made prisoners, tried by court-martial as spies, and 
sentenced to death. They were shot. Tambusa met 
his doom with a lofty dignity that nuist have put his 
slayers to shame. 

Nongalaza defeats Dingaan's Army. — Nongalaza had 
moved forward with his force and, without the assist- 
ance of the Europeans, met Dingaan's army on the 
Dukusi River, where he inflicted upon it a decisive 
defeat. The battle was fiercely contested ; whole 
regiments of Tshaka's iron veterans were slain to a 
man. While the battle was still undecided, a cry arose 
from Nongalaza's ranks : " The Boers are coming I " 
This was not true, but the remnants of Dingaan's army 
believed it was, and fled. Dingaan took refuge on the 
borders of the Swazi country, where he was shortly 
afterwards assassinated. 

Panda installed as Chief of the Zulus.— Panda was 
formally installed as Chief of the Zulus by Mr. Pre- 
torius. He received his appointment in vassalage to 
the Emigrant Farmers, and removed his followers to 
the north of the Tugela. A proclamation Avas issued 
by the Executive at Pietermaritzburg, taking posses- 
sion of the country as far north as St. Lucia Bay. 


(To 1850) 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 

The Griquas. — The Griquas north of the Orange 
River prospered in the tract they occupied under the 
guidance of their missionaries. They became skilled 
hunters of the ostrich and the elephant, and made 
long journeys to the north, whence they returned with 
quantities of feathers and ivory. The parent com- 
munity at Griquatown sent forth offshoots which 
formed settlements at various points. From time to 
time the more restless spirits organised themselves into 
maraviding bands ; these became a terror to the Bat- 
lapin and other Bantu tribes to the northward. 

Andries Waterboer.— Adam Kok. — Andries Water- 
boer remained at Griquatown. A party under one 
Barend Barends moved to Daniel's Kuil ; later to 
Boetsap, and, in 1833, to Lishuane, on the Caledon 
River. Another party under Adam Kok settled at 
Campbell. In 1834 Adam resigned, and was succeeded 
by his brother Cornells. 

Freebooters. — Philipolis. — The former left Griqua- 
town, and was joined by a number of freebooters 
who, on account of the destructive swoops they 
occasionally made from their strongholds in the 
Langebergen on the south-east margin of the Kalihari 
Desert, had long been a terror to all within their reach. 
They now adopted a settled pastoral life. But they 
did not long remain under Waterboer' s leadership ; the 
greater number soon resumed freebooting. In 1826 
Adam Kok and the residue who adhered to him settled 
down at the request of the London Missionary Society, 
at Philipolis — a mission station near the Orange River, 
which had been established in 1823, and named in honour 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 169 

of Dr. Phihp. The idea underlying the request was that 
I \w. Griqiias were to affoitl protection to the Bushmen 
till surviving in the vicinity, but instead of this 
resulting the Griquas exterminated the Bushmen with 
mthless cruelty. Adam Kok died in 1835, and was 
-ucceeded by his eldest son Abraham. 

The Oriquas split. — After various intrigues, the 
particulars of which it would be profitless to trace, 
the Griquas split into two sections. On the one side 
were Cornelis and Abraham Kok, on the other were 
Andries Waterboer and another Adam Kok, the 
younger brother of Abraham. Several battles were 
fought between the two sections, but the combatants 
engaged each other at such a distance that no damage 
was done. Subsequently, in 1841, the Griquas were 
divided into three sections. Andries Waterboer went 
back to Griquatown, Cornelis Kok to Campbell, and 
Adam Kok the Second reigned at Philipolis. Abraham 
Kok, the quality of whose morals had been objected 
to by the missionaries, sank into obscurity. Before 
this settlement had been arrived at, a document was 
drawn up between Adam Kok the Second and Andries 
Waterboer, embodying an agreement to divide between 
them the country as far north as Plattberg on the Vaal 
River. This agreement ignored all other claims. It 
was dated November 9, 1838, and was regarded as 
important evidence on the subject of the o\\'nership 
of the Diamond* Fields in 1870. As a matter of fact 
the signatories to this agreement had no more right 
to the tract it referred to than they had to the Isle 
of Wight. 

Gradual Migration of Europeans across the Orange 
River. — For many years farmers of the Cape Colony 
liad been in the habit of crossing the Orange River 
when pasturage became scarce owing to drought or 
visitations of locusts. From time to time individuals 
settled on the plains in the vicinity of the Riet and 
Modder Rivers. The relations between the Eui-o- 
]>eans and the Griquas, who were located farther south, 
were (juite friendly. The Griquas, by clearing the 
country of Bushmen, had gained the gratitude of the 
farmers. A number of these, under a leatier named 
Michael Oberholster, were well-disposed towaixls the 
British Government. 

I70 A History of South Africa 

Return of some of the Emigrant Farmers.— Of the 

Emigrant Farmers who recrossed the Drakensberg from 
Natal after Durban had been retaken by the British, 
some moved to the north of the Vaal ; others remained 
between the Vaal and the Orange. The leader of the 
latter was one Jan Mocke ; he and his following were 
bitterly anti-British. In October, 1842, Mr. Justice 
Menzies held a Circuit Court at Colesberg. Two men 
belonging to Mocke's party were charged with murder, 
but acquitted. Adam Kok was at the time at 

A Comprehensive Annexation. — Acting on informa- 
tion received from him, the judge crossed the Orange 
River on October 22, hoisted the Union Jack and 
proclaimed British sovereignty over the country from 
the 32nd degree of longitude eastward to the sea and 
northward from the Orange River to the 25th parallel 
of latitude. From this comprehensive tract were 
omitted such portions as were in possession of the 
Portuguese or of native tribes. Two days afterwards 
Mocke with several hundred armed followers arrived 
and disputed the validity of the proclamation, claiming 
on behalf of the Emigrant Farmers the whole country 
north of the Orange River and as far eastward as the 
military lines around Durban. Sir George Napier re- 
pudiated Judge Menzies' action by means of a published 
notice, — which, however, again affirmed that the 
Emigrant Farmers were regarded as British subjects. 
At the same time a military force was despatched to 

Treaties of Alliance with Adam Kok and Water- 
boer. — In 1843 a treaty of alliance was entered into 
between Governor Napier and Adam Kok at the latter' s 
request, similar in terms to the one entered into with 
Waterboer nine years previously. In his application 
the Griqua captain claimed a territory of nearly twelve 
thousand square miles in extent, but in the treaty 
only the southern boundary, a line running from the 
neighbourhood of Ramah to Bethulie, was mentioned. 
It was arranged that Adam Kok was to draw a yearly 
subsidy of £100 and to be provided with one hundred 
stand of arms and a quantity of ammunition. More- 
over, he was granted £50 yearly for the maintenance of 
a school. 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 171 

Treaties with Moshesh and Faku. — At the same time 
a treaty was ciitcicd into with Moshesh, the Basuto 
chief. In the latU r treaty the limits of the Basuto 
territory were defined as follows : the Orange River 
from its source to its junction with the Caledon ; thence 
a line from twenty-five to thirty miles northwards of 
the Caledon from the district of Bethulie to the country 
occupied by the Bathlokua. The territory lying 
between Basutoland and the sea was ceded by treaty to 
Faku the Pondo chief. Thus the Cape Colony from thfe 
Kalihari eastwards to the Indian Ocean was technically 
cut off from the possibility of expansion to the north- 
ward by a chain of four independent Native states, with 
the rulers of which England had entered into solemn 
treaty engagements. 

Resultant Irritation.— A Lost Opportunity.— Pro- 
bably no act on the part of Great Britain irritat/cd the 
Farmers so much as did these treaties. The Griquas 
had been British subjects and had, without permission, 
crossed the colonial boundary. Their independence 
was forthwith' acknowledged ; they were furnished 
with arms and treated with every possible favour. 
Europeans, on the other hand, were peremptorily told 
that they could not throw off their allegiance, and such 
of them as happened to be living within the territories 
occupied by the Griquas were now placed under the 
jurisdiction of so-called "Captains," belonging to a 
hybrid, inferior race. At this time Oberholster's 
following numbered more than a thousand; these 
people were well-disposed and most anxious to submit 
to the Queen's authority. They sent an influentially 
signed memorial asking to be accepted as British 
subjects, but no notice was taken of their request. 
Herein was a splendid opportunity lost. Oberholster 
and his people, while declining to acknowledge subjec- 
tion to the Gi'iquas, entered into an agreement with 
Adam Kok to the effect that, conjointly with him, they 
would prevent any one refusing allegiance to Great 
Britain from residing in the territory. 

Difficulties between Farmers and Griquas. — In 1844 
there was a quarrel between two Europeans near 
Philipolis, one of whom died from the injuries he 
received. Adam Kok caused the other man to be 
arrested and forwarded to Colesberg. Jan Mocke 

172 A History of South Africa 

Avrote on behalf of the Emigrants who were opposed to 
British rule, demanding the release of the prisoner, 
which was refused. Mocke threatened war, and Kok 
obtained from Colesberg powder and lead. In June a 
large meeting of Farmers and Griquas was held at 
Colesberg. No satisfactory understanding was arrived 
at. Not long afterwards two Natives, on the complaint 
of one of the Farmers, were sentenced by a Com- 
mandant to be flogged. Adam Kok sent a band of one 
hundred men to arrest the comi)lainant ; the latter was 
not at home, but the Griquas broke into his house, 
abused his wife, and carried away his guns and 

The Fight at Touwfontein. — The Farmers went into 
laager at Touwfontein. The Griquas assembled under 
arms ; the two parties began looting each other's 
cattle. Adam Kok was supplied by the Governor with 
one hundred more muskets and a quantity of ammu- 
nition. A military force of two hundred men proceeded 
from Colesberg to Philipolis to support the Griquas. 
The Farmers maintained that they were independent 
of Great Britain and subject only to the Councils of 
Potchefstroom and Winburg. They insisted that the 
Griquas began the war, and demanded that a line of 
demarcation should be drawn between the Griquas and 
themselves. They pointed out that as the Griquas 
were regarded as a free people it was the right of the 
Europeans to be similarly regarded. They professed 
their willingness to return cattle captured if the 
Griquas would do the same. In the meantime a further 
military force, under Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, 
had crossed the river. An advance was made by 
British and Griqua forces upon Touwfontein. After 
a slight action the Farmers fled and their camp was 
taken. With the exception of about one hundred men, 
who surrendered, the laager contained only women 
and children. 

A Settlement arrived at. — Shortly afterwards the 
Governor, attended by the Attorney-General, arrived 
at Touwfontein. A meeting of Basuto chiefs and 
Griqua captains was held ; Moshesh was present. Adam 
Kok made extravagant demands. It was eventually 
arranged that his territory should be divided into two 
portions. In one of these no Europeans except 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 173 

missionaries and traders were allowed ; in the other, 
land might be leased either to Europeans or Griquas. 
At the time there were already within it eighty farms 
lield by Europeans. It was further arranged that the 
administration of this portion was to be in the hands 
of a British resident, but the sovereign rights of Adam 
Kok were lu'vcitheless to remain intact. 

Major Warden. — Captain (afterwards Major) Henry 
Douglas Warden was appointed Resident. The Basuto 


chief asked that the Europeans residing within the 
bounds of the tract assigned to him by the treaty entered 
into with Sir George Napier might be ejected. These 
numbered at the time 447 families. Negotiations on 
the subject were postponed pending an inquiry to be 
made by Commandant Gideon Joubert, who was 
appointed Sub-Commissioner for the purpose. At this 
period the ninnber of the Natives who acknowledged 
Moshesh as their chief was about fifty thousand. 

The Ambitions of Moshesh. — Moshesh's conduct now 

174 A History of South Africa 

indicated the growth of his ambition. Not satisfied 
with the extensive tract which he occupied, he sent 
parties of his people to establish themselves in areas 
where no Basuto had previously resided. He extended 
his borders northward towards the tracts inhabited 
by the Bathlokua and ordered his brother, a noted 
freebooter, to seize a natural fortress which was deep 
within the area occupied by Europeans. This brother 
was soon joined by a number of Bantu thieves belonging 
to other tribes. 

Founding of Bloemfontein. — In. March, 1846, a con- 
ference was convened by Major Warden. Moshesh, 
Sikonyella, — the Bathlokua chief — with a number 
of other chiefs and the Griqua captains attended. 
At this conference it was agreed to leave the 
settlement of the boundary question to a com- 
mission to be appointed by the Governor. Owing, 
however, to the Kaffir war breaking out, no such 
commission was appointed. Major Warden selected a 
spot known as Bloemfontein as the site for his court ; 
this subsequently became the capital of the Orange 
Free State. 

Sir Harry Smith. — As soon as affairs in the Cape 
Colony permitted, Sir Harry Smith went north to visit 
the Farmers who had crossed the border. He had 
known many of them twelve years previously, and, 
trusting to his popularity, felt confident of being able 
to persuade the Emigrants to return. But the latter 
were now much embittered by their experiences, and 
had lost faith in Great Britain. Moreover, among 
them were a number of questionable characters, in- 
cluding fugitives from justice and deserters from the 
army. Such men had strong objections to coming 
again under British rule, and traded for their own ends 
on the prejudices of the Farmers. 

Adam Kok surprised. — Sir Harry Smith summoned 
Adam Kok to meet him at Bloemfontein on January 
24, 1848. The Griqua captain talked arrogantly of his 
rights, and took up the position of an independent 
sovereign in alliance on equal terms with the Queen of 
England. However, upon the Governor threatening to 
hang him from one of the beams of the room in which 
the interview took place, he consented to a reasonable 
compromise. In terms of this he and his people had to 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 175 

176 A History of South Africa 

draw a capitalised sum of £300 per annum for the land 
let to Europeans in the alienable portion of the Griqua 
territory. As the leases in the other i^ortion expired, 
it was arranged that the European occupants should 
leave, their improvements being paid for. 

Proclamation of the Soyereignty.— Oberholster's 
following of well-disposed Farmers presented the 
Governor with an address of welcome ; so did another 
party of Farmers from the Lower Caledon River. At 
Winburg an address signed by forty-eight persons, 
twenty-seven of whom were heads of families, was 
presented. This embodied a request that the country 
might be brought under the jurisdiction of Great 
Britain. The Governor had a hurried interview with 
Moshesh, and informed that chief that he meant to 
proclaim the sovereignty of the Queen over all the 
country inhabited by the Farmers. Moshesh signed a 
document agreeing to the proposals, which, however, 
it is not clear that he fully understood. 

The Governor then proceeded to Natal, where he 
visited the camp of the Emigrant Farmers. There, on 
February 3, he issued a proclamation of sovereignty on 
the part of the Queen of England over the country 
between the Orange and the Vaal Rivers, and thence 
eastward to the Drakensberg. He had so much 
confidence in the effect of his personal influence that, 
against Major Warden's advice, he removed all the 
troops except sixty of the Cape Mounted Riflemen from 
Bloemfontein. Provisional arrangements were made 
for the government of the new sovereignty. A civil 
commissioner and resident magistrate was appointed 
to Winburg, and another to the Lower Caledon. All 
farms were to be held on military tenure, and Farmers 
were required to turn out in defence of the Sovereign 
and her allies. But the only allies of the Queen the 
Farmers knew of were the Griquas, whom they despised 
and hated, and the Basuto, whose increasing power 
they felt to be a menace. 

Sir Harry Smith deceived. — Sir Harry Smith had 
completely mistaken the temper of the people, a strong 
majority of whom were irreconcilably opposed to 
British rule in any form. Many of the Farmers at once 
moved northward across the Vaal River, so as to be 
outside the Queen's proclaimed dominion. There were, 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 177 

however, a fair proportion, probably not quite one- 
third of the inhabitants of the sovereignty, who were 
ill favour of the British connexion. On May 22 Major 
Warden installed Mr. Biddulph, the new resident 
magistrate and civil commissioner at Winburg. The 
Rei)ublican oflicials there gave formal notice that they 
would not acknowledge the British official. They sent 
a message to Mr. Pre tortus at Rustenburg asking for 
his assistance. Mrs. Pretorius lay dying at the time, 
but she sent her husband from her bedside to do his 
duty. He never saw her again. 

Pretorius intervenes. — Mr. Pretorius arrived at 
Winburg on July 12; he published a notice to the 
effect that nobody would be permitted to remain 
neutral, and that those who would not join him must 
cross the Orange River before the 20th of the month. 
The few who were favourable to the British Govern- 
ment went into laager and defied the notice. Mr. 
Biddulph retired to Bloemfontein. 

The Commandos assemble. — A feAv days afterwards 
Pretorius api)roached with a commando, and camped 
within two miles of the village. At a conference with 
Major Warden the capitulation of Bloemfontein was 
agreed upon, the few troops and the civilian in- 
habitants being permitted to return to the Cape 
Colony. Mr. Pretorius furnished wagons to convey 
their goods to Colesberg. A long manifesto drawn up 
and signed by upwards of nine hundred farmers, was 
forwarded to the Governor. It repeated the grievances 
and reminded Sir Harry that, as High Commissioner, 
he had stated that unless the majority of the in- 
habitants were in favour of the Queen's Sovereignty 
such would not be proclaimed. On this point there 
exists a discrepancy between the statement of the 
Governor and that of Pretorius. The former said that 
his proviso had reference only to the people north of 
the Vaal ; Pretorius declared that it also included 
those between the latter and the Orange. 

When the report of these occurrences reached Sir 
Harry Smith, he gave oi-ders that all available troops 
should assemble at Colesberg. A piXK'lamation was 
issued offering £1000 reward for the appi'ehension of 
Pretorius, and £500 for that of William Jacobs, the 
landdrost of Winburg. The British force, some eight 


178 A History of South Africa 

hundred strong, crossed the Orange River on August 
26, Sir Harry Smith taking personal command. It Avas 
joined by a few well-disposed Farmers and some two 
hundred and fifty Griquas, under Andries Waterboer 
and Adam Kok. The commando of the Emigrant 
Farmers fell back towards Bloemfontein ; there was 
much dissension in its ranks. 

The Battle of Boomplaats. — On the 28th the com- 
mando took up a position among some stony hills near 
the Kromme Elleboog River at a farm called Boom- 
plaats. Shortly before noon next day the British 
force advanced against the enemies' position ; Sir 
Harry and his staff rode in front. By the Governor's 
orders the caps had been removed from the nipples 
of the carbines ; he w^as under the impression that 
the Farmers when they recognised him would not fire. 
But a volley rang out within sixty yards. The 
Governor had a narrow escape ; his horse was wounded 
in the head by a bullet and one of his stirrup leathers 
cut by another. The British force then attacked, and 
the Boers retired from position to position, hotly 
contesting each. A party of the Farmers under Com- 
mandant Jan Kock made a dash for the wagons, but 
were forced to retire. At two o'clock the last hill was 
stormed; the Farmers then broke and fled eastward 
across the plain. In his despatch Sir Harry Smith, 
who had seen much fighting, described the engagement 
at Boomplaats as one of the most severe skirmishes he 
had ever witnessed. The number of Farmers actually 
engaged was probably about five hundred ; the British 
loss was two officers and twenty men killed, and five 
officers and thirty-three men severely wounded. The 
number of casualties on the side of the Farmers was 
not ascertained; they admitted to having lost nine 
men killed and five wounded. Next day two men 
who had taken part in the battle were captured. One 
was a deserter, the other a young farmer named Dreyer. 
They were tried by court-martial and shot. The exe- 
cution of Dreyer was looked upon as an act of excessive 
severity, and was much resented. 

A reward of £2000 w^as now offered for the appre- 
hension of Commandant-General Pretorius, and £500 
each for the apprehension of three of his officers. The 
infliction of several substantial fines was announced. 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 179 

The Governor, with his force, proceeded to WinhurK 
rid Bloemfontein, and re-proclainied the Queen's 
SovereiKHty. Moshesh, who had been invited to meet 
liim, apixjared, attended by several hundred followers. 
Amended arrangements for the government of the 
territory were announced. The seat of magistracy in 
the Caledon River district was named Smithfield. A 
fort was built at Bloemfontein, where a small garrison 
was left. Soon the more irreconcilable of the Boers 
moved northward over the Vaal, but their places were 
taken by fresh arrivals from the Cape. On his return 
journey the Governor crossed the Orange River at 
BufFel's Vlei, where he was met by a number of Farmers. 
It was arranged to have a town laid out at this spot, 
to be given the name of Aliwal. 

Establishment of Church Consistories. — Ever since 
the emigration, the Farmers had been without any 
official religious ministrations except those afforded 
by the Reverend Daniel Lindley of Maritzburg, who 
occasionally crossed the Drakensberg. Marriages were 
performed by civil officers; baptisms were deferred 
until Mr. Lindley's services became available. How- 
ever, the Farmers never lost hold of their Bible. There 
were no schools, but the children were taught their 
letters by the parents, and were thus enabled to spell 
out the easier passages of the sacred Book. The ad- 
venturous life led by the children of Israel during 
their wanderings had, to a certain extent, its counter- 
part in the experiences of the Emigrant Farmers. The 
latter moved about in a more or less desert country 
with their flocks and herds, and came into conflict 
with heathen tribes. It is not to be wondered at that 
the Emigrants came to consider themselves to be in a 
sense a " peculiar " people, and to look upon the Bible 
as the one and only guide to this world as well as to 
the next. In 1848 a synod of the Dutch Reformed 
Church decided to send a commission to investigate 
the spiritual needs of the Emigrants. When it is 
realised that twelve yeai*s had passed without any 
such step being taken, one may well wonder at the 
delay. Consistories were established at Bloemfontein, 
at Smithfleld, and at a spot where the town of Harri- 
smith now stands. Early in 1849 the Reverend Andrew 
Murray, junior, was appointed Minister at Bloemfontein, 

i8o A History of South Africa 

and Consulent of the other congregations. Schools 
had been established at Bloemfontein, Winburg, and 
Smithfield. Steps were taken towards obtaining the 
services of clergymen and teachers from Holland. In 
1849 a Legislative Council was created. 

Trouble in Basutoland. — Trouble began in Northern 
Basutoland, between Moshesh's people and those of 
Sikonyella. There was considerable fighting and loot- 
ing on both sides. Attempts were made to lay down 
a satisfactory line in the south between the country 
occupied by the Europeans and that occupied by the 
Basutos. Moshesh now claimed the whole of the terri- 
tory assigned to him in terms of the Napier Treaty, 
besides a considerable tract in addition. Eventually, 
under compulsion, Moshesh agreed to accept a line laid 
down by Major Warden. This cut off an area assigned to 
the Basuto by the Napier Treaty of 1843. That treaty, 
however, had recognised as integral portions of Basuto- 
land, large tracts into which Moshesh had just recently 
sent people to build kraals foi* the purpose of establish- 
ing a technical occupation. 

In 1850 trouble arose between the Bathlokua and 
the Bataung. A British expedition took the field 
against Sikonyella who, however, submitted. In the 
meantime the Bataung had attacked a mission station, 
so the British, assisted by the Bathlokua and the 
Barolong, attacked them and captured a number of 
their cattle. Immediately afterwards some Basuto 
fell upon the Barolong. This was in revenge for the 
Barolong having helped in the attack upon the Ba- 
taung, whom Moshesh now regarded as his vassals. 
Nearly four thousand head of cattle and eight hun- 
dred horses were swept into Basutoland. A demand 
was made upon Moshesh for restitution of the looted 
stock; some months afterwards he sent in about two 
thousand head of inferior cattle. Raiding between 
the Basuto and various clans on their border com- 
menced. A meeting of all the chiefs in the territory 
was convened for June 4, 1851, at Bloemfontein. Only 
Moroko and Gert Taaibosch, Captain of the Korannas 
on the Orange River, appeared. It was decided to 
bring Moshesh to book. He now claimed autho- 
rity over the Baphuti, a clan located south of the 
Orange River, and it was his evident intention to 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River i8i 

extend his borders in three directions — north, Houth, 
md west. A force was assembled consisting of nearly 
lii-ee hundred Europeans, of whom about one hundred 
and twenty were farmers, and upwards of one thousand 
blacks of various tribes. A demand was sent to Moshesh 
for delivery of six thousand head of good cattle and 
three hundred horses. 

The Battle of Yiervoet.— To this no reply was 
received ; it was then decided to attack the Bataung 
at Viervoet, their stronghold. The force was com- 
manded by Major Donovan of the Cape Regiment. 
An assault was made at daybreak on June 30. The 
stronghold was easily stormed, and the cattle of the 
enemy taken possession of. In the mean time three 
bodies of Basuto arrived. The Bataung now reformed, 
and in conjunction with the Basuto, delivered a vigorous 
counter-attack. What had been looked upon as an 
easy victory was now turned into a disastrous defeat. 
The cattle were all recaptured, and a large number of 
the unfortunate Barolong were slaughtered. The com- 
mando then retreated to Thaba-Ntshu, where it was 
broken up. The Barolong and the other clans which 
had resisted the Basuto were obliged to fall back to 
the westward. The British Resident w^as now power- 
less. The majority of the Farmers refused to support 
him. Assistance was received from Natal ; this in- 
cluded some two hundred regular troops and a 
contingent of Natives numbering about six hundred. 

Moshesh plunders the Loyal Farmers. — Moshesh 
sent foixjes to take possession of the land vacated by 
the tribes which had joined the English against him. 
Then while proclaiming his friendliness towards the 
British Crown he sent out his men to attack all Farmera 
who had obeyed Major Warden's requisition to turn 
out on commando. At the same time he spared those 
who ha<i refused. 


(To 1854) 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 

Anarchy] — Pretorius asked to restore Order. — The 
Republican Party now assembled and drafted a request 
to Mr. Pretorius to the effect that he should take upon 
himself the administration of the country, which had 
practically fallen into a condition of anarchy. Moshesh, 
regarding the Farmers as the stronger faction, joined 
in this request. He was aware of the war which was 
raging on the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony, and 
no doubt believed that the British were getting the 
worst of it. Reinforcements were despatched from 
England, and the Governor was instructed to restore 
British authority. But the Secretary of State embodied 
in his despatch a threat, which must have sounded 
somewhat strange to the Republicans, namely, — that 
unless the majority of the inhabitants would willingly 
and actively obey the Sub- Resident, British rule would 
be withdrawn ! 

In November, 1851, Major Hogg and Mr. Mostyn 
Owen, who had been constituted a Commission to 
inquire into the conditions of the Sovereignty, arrived 
at Bloemfontein. Those conditions presented peculiar 
features. The Farmers who had ignored the British 
Resident's authority, and who were ijractically in 
alliance with Moshesh, were peacefully carrying on 
their avocations, whereas those who maintained their 
allegiance to the British Crown were continually 
exposed to attack by the Basuto. The contingent of 
Natal Natives was engaged in looting on its own 
account, mainly from Sikonyella's people. When they 
had collected what they considered a sufficiency of 
stock, they absconded to their homes. Moroko and 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 183 

I J is [H'ople had returned to Thaba-Ntshu, where 
Kiiropean troops from Natal were stationed, but the 
latter were soon withdrawn for the protection of the 
loyalists of the Winburg district, who were suflfermg 
grievously from Basuto raids. 

The Sand River Convention. — Commandant-General 
Pretorius wrote from Magaliesberg in November 
suggesting that a conference between the commis- 
sioners and the representatives of the Farmers from 
beyond the Vaal might be held. This proposal was 
agreed to on December 23 ; at the same time the 
proclamation of outlawry against Mr. Pretorius and 
of rewards for his apprehension and for that of certain 
of his colleagues was withdrawn. On January 16, 
1852, the conference was held at Mr. P. A. Venter's 
farm on the Sand River. About three hundred of 
the Transvaal farmers attended. At this period there 
were four commandants-general in the Transvaal, each 
taking charge, as chief executive officer, of a section 
of the country. The four were Mr. A. W. J. Pretorius, 
Mr. A. H. Potgieter, Mr. W. F. Joubert, and Mr. J. A. 
Enslin. The section which adhered to Mr. Potgieter 
was not represented. Mr. Joubert acted with Mr. 
Pretorius ; Mr. Enslin was lying on his death-bed. The 
treaty known as the Sand River Convention was then 
drawn, up and signed by the delegates from each side. 
It provided for the complete independence of the 
Emigrants who had crossed the Vaal River. It 
specifically stated that there was to be no interference 
on the part of the British Government in the internal 
affairs of the Transvaal, no encroachment upon land 
nor alliances with coloured tribes north of the Vaal 
River. Slavery was not to be practised. Neither 
side was to supply war material to the Native races. 
Certificates of birth and marriage issued by the 
Government to the Emigrants were to be recognised. 
The extradition of criminals was provided for. The 
Convention was eventually ratified by the Secretary 
of State. 

At this time the greater number of those opposed 
to British rule had left the Sovei*eignty for the 
Transvmil. Those opponents who still remained con- 
sidered that Mr. Pretorius had betrayed them through 
not having provided for their interests in the 

1 84 A History of South Africa 

Convention. Such were informed that if they chose 
they might cross the Vaal, in which case farms would 
be provided for them. 

Moshesh continued to profess friendship, which, 
how ever, was punctuated by raids. He again attacked 
Sikonyella, defeated him, and carried off a large 
number of cattle. A clan of half-breeds was supplied 
by Major Warden with ammunition. They raided the 
Basuto ; the latter in revenge for this again raided the 

Appointment of an Executive Council. — Major Hogg 
died suddenly, and was succeeded by Advocate J. W. 
Ebden. Major Warden was retired, and Mr. Henry 
Green appointed in his place. An Executive Council, 
consisting of five nominated members, under the pre- 
sidency of the British Resident, was constituted. The 
latter acquired large tracts of land ; he was in fact the 
largest landholder in the Sovereignty. Sir Harry Smith 
had been recalled, and Sir George Cathcart appointed 
Governor and High Commissioner in his place. Soon 
afterwards a meeting of the delegates of the European 
inhabitants from the different districts was convened. 
This assembly was asked to vote on the question as 
to whether Great Britain held the country with the 
consent of the inhabitants or not. The answer was in 
the affirmative. 

Sinister Attitude of Moshesh. — It was now the 
general conclusion that the ambitions of the Basuto 
Chief were such as to constitute a grave danger. The 
great mistake Avhich had been made in permitting the 
enlargement of the Basuto territory and the consolida- 
tion of the power of the tribe was evident. The 
imperative necessity of employing military measures — 
measures adequate to check the growing arrogance 
and aggressiveness of Moshesh and his vassals — was 
generally recognised. 

Sir George Cathcart. — His Ultimatum to Moshesh.— 
Accordingly, when Sir George Cathcart had broken 
the power of the Kaffir tribes on the eastern frontier 
of the Cape Colony, he organised a powerful military 
force wherewith to back the ultimatum he intended 
presenting to the " Chief of the Mountain," as Moshesh 
Avas called. 

Assembly of a Strong Military Force.— This force, 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 185 

wliich was thoroughly equipped, consisted of about two 
thousand infantry and five hundred cavalry, with two 
field-guns. It marched vid Burghersdorp, crossed the 
Orange River, and proceeded along the western bank of 
tlu^ Caledon to Plattberg, where it halted. Summonses 
were issued to Moshesh, Sikonyella, Molitsane, Moroko, 
and Gert Taaibosch to attend. None of them appeared. 
The Caledon was in flood, so Moshesh could not have 
come even had he been willing, but two of his sons 
swam through the river to the camp. Them, however, 
the High Commissioner declined to receive. The ulti- 
matum was presented to Moshesh on December 14. It 
was couched in peremptory and somewhat offensive 
terms, and embodied a demand for the delivery of 
10,000 head of cattle and 1000 horses within three 
days. Next day Moshesh visited the camp and con- 
ferred with the High Commissioner, to whom he de- 
clared that the required number of cattle and horses 
could not be collected within the time specified, and 
that an advance of the British into his country would 
l)e resisted. " A dog," he said, " will show his teeth 
if beaten." It is probable that Moshesh personally 
favoured complete submission, but that his principal 
vassals took a different view. In acting against the 
opinion of his councillors, there is always a point 
beyond which the most influential Native chief dare 
not go. 

The Battle of the Berea. — On December 18 Moshesh's 
son Nehemiali brought 3500 head of cattle to the 
British camp. Next day, as no more cattle had been 
delivered. Sir George Cathcart moved a portion of his 
force to the Caledon Drift near the Berea Mission 
Station. In the evening Moperi, a brother of Moshesh, 
arrived accompanied by a missionary, and begged that 
the advance might be stayed, as efforts Avere being 
made to collect the balance of the cattle. On the morn- 
ing of December 20, however, the British force moved 
forward in three divisions. Before it lay the Berea 
mountain — rugged, flat-topped, and precipitous ; it was 
observed to be thickly covered with herds of cattle. 
Beyond the Berea lay Thaba Bosigo — " Tlie Mountain 
of Night," the renowned stronghold of the Basuto 
Chief. It was arranged that one section of the British 
force should cross the Berea, and the two others 

i86 A History of South Africa 

repectively proceed around its flanks — the three to meet 
on the other side. The Cavalry Brigade, under Colonel 
Napier, whose course was along the northern flank, 
succumbed to the cattle lure, left their specified course 
and without definite formation ascended tlie mountain 
side. Suddenly about seven hundred mounted Basutos 
charged upon the disorganised force. Colonel Napier 
rallied a few of the troops and managed to cover the 
retreat of the others. Thirty-two men were killed, of 
whom twenty-seven were Lancers. Another detach- 
ment of over four hundred and fifty infantry with a 
few cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, ascended 
the face of the mountain and seized an enormous herd 
of cattle which had been placed on the top — evidently 
as a bait. But the cattle proved unmanageable, and 
while the British force was endeavouring to drive them 
away, a mass of the enemy's horsemen charged. Some 
of the Basuto were dressed in the uniform of the slain 
Lancers, and were not recognised as enemies until they 
were close at hand. Most of the cattle had to be aban- 
doned. Fortunately the scattered British force was 
able to draw together and effect an orderly retreat, 
with a loss of only five men killed and an officer taken 
prisoner. The third British detachment, about three 
hundred strong, and under the command of General 
Cathcart, moved round the southern base of the Berea 
and halted before Thaba Bosigo. Confronting it was 
a force of some six thousand horsemen, all with fire- 
arms. These advanced to the attack, but hardly came 
within rifie range. Firing from both sides continued 
for some time, but with little result. Then a heavy 
thunderstorm broke, and for a space the firing ceased. 
When the storm had passed, the enemy, whose numbers 
had now increased, began to advance, but fortunately 
Colonel Eyre's detachment arrived and reinforced 
General Cathcart' s meagre contingent. As night was 
falling the British took up a good defensive position in 
an abandoned kraal surrounded by large rocks. The 
enemy kept up a vigorous fire from a distance until 
eight o'clock. The casualties were, considering the 
circumstances, light — only two officers and five men 
being wounded. At daybreak the British force re- 
treated towards the Caledon, watched by a strong 
Basuto army, moving parallel to it along the Berea. 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 187 

A Politic Submission. — On the way a messenger, 
carrying a flag of truce, overtook the General and 
delivered a letter from Mosliesh, one well described by 
Dr. Theal as " the most politic document that has ever 
been penned in South Africa." It read as follows : — 

" Thaba Bosigo : Midnight, 

'• December 20, 1862. 

** Your Excellency, 

" This day you have fought against my people 
and taken much cattle. As the object for which you 
have come is to have a compensation for Boers, I beg 
you will be satisfied with what you have taken ; I 
entreat peace from you. You have shown your power ; 
you have chastised. Let it be enough, I pray you, and 
let me be no longer considered an enemy to the Queen. 
I will try all I can to keep my people in order in the 

** Your humble servant, 


Two considerations no doubt weighed with the 
Basuto Chief in making this timely submission. One 
was that he and his warriors had been much impressed 
by the cool courage evinced by the British, as well as 
by the orderly retreat they had effected in the face of 
tremendous odds. The other was that Moshesh, cer- 
tainly the most astute Native ruler in South Africa, 
knew how powerful Great Britain was, and that if he 
inflicted a really severe defeat such would inevitably 
be heavily avenged. The Basuto loss is said to have 
been twenty killed and a like number wounded ; be- 
sides, some women and children had fallen — whether 
through inadvertence or otherwise could not be stated 
— at the commencement of the advance. In revenge 
for this Captain Faunce, the officer who had been cap- 
tured, was murdered. 

At the Battle of the Berea mounted infantry wei-e 
for the first time used in warfare against civilised 
ti<>()j)s. Twenty years previously the Basutos had 
possessed few if any horses, yet the military genius 
of Moshesh was such that he was able to divine the 
imnieiise advantage mounted men would possess over 
t hose oil foot under South African conditions, and he 
organised his army accordingly. 

i88 A History of South Africa 

Sir George Cathcart was soldier enough to know 
that he had been defeated, and diplomatist enough to 
make use of the golden bridge opened to him. He 
recognised how costly and difficult a conquest of Ba- 
sutoland would prove, and how averse the British 
Government would be from undertaking such an 
enterprise. So, in spite of indignant protests from his 
officers and from Mr. Owen, he proclaimed peace, broke 
up his camp and returned to the Cape Colony, leaving 
a garrison of three hundred men at Bloemfontein. 
Moshesh forthwith sent messages to all the surround- 
ing clans, informing them that he had gained a victory 
over the British and driven them from his country. 

Abandonment of the SoYereignty decided upon. — 
The supporters of Great Britain — both white and 
coloured — Avithin the Sovereignty, were now in a state 
of consternation. Abandonment was in the air. On 
October 21, 1851, Earl Grey had written to Sir Harry 
Smith to the effect that such should be a settled point 
in the Imperial policy. When the account of the Berea 
affair, which was described by Sir George Cathcart as 
a victory, reached him, the Secretary of State at once 
wrote to say that abandonment had been finally de- 
cided upon. Moshesh at first showed great modera- 
tion ; he restrained his people from raiding, and even 
when some of his outlying subjects were attacked by 
Gert Taaibosch and Sikonyella he refrained from 

A Majority against Abandonment.— Sir George 
Russell Clerk was appointed Commissioner to arrange 
for the abandonment of the Sovereignty. He arrived 
at Bloemfontein in August, 1853, and instructed the 
British Resident to call upon the people to appoint 
delegates for the purpose of deciding upon a form of 
self-government. The delegates numbered ninety-five, 
of whom nineteen were English. They passed a reso- 
lution refusing to entertain any proposals toward an 
independent government until the Basuto and other 
pressing questions had been satisfactorily settled. But 
the British Commissioner had to carry out his instruc- 
tions, which were imperative as to immediate abandon- 
ment. He was therefore constrained to approach the 
party irreconcilably opposed to British rule, and to 
ignore the wishes of those desiring to remain subjects 

The Sovereignty beyond the Orange River 189 

(if tho Queen. The hitter were, owing to a recent influx 
fioin the Houtli, far more numerous than they had 
been when the Battle of Boomplaats was fought. 
Thus, owing to a strange shuffling of the ix)litical 
(•aids, the jjeople who desired that British rule should 
he maintained were now termed " The Obstiiietionists," 
\\ liile those formerly regarded as disloyal were termed 
" Tlie Well-disposed." All who had taken the British 
side, including the clans and tribes who had declared 
against Moshesh, were filled with dismay. From the 
Cape Colony petitions against the proposed abandon- 
ment i^oured forth. 

Unfounded Acciisations. — In some of these, abso- 
lutely unfounded accusations relating to the alleged 
practice of slavery and the ^perpetration of atrocities 
were made against the Emigrant Farmers. In the 
meantime Moshesh again attacked Sikonyella and 
inflicted on him such a crushing defeat that he never 
recovered his influence. After this even the " Well- 
disposed " demurred at taking over the country until 
the power of the Basuto had been broken. 

GonYention of Bloemfontein. — Eventually, however, 
this ix)int was waived, and on February 23, 1854, the 
Convention of Bloemfontein was signed. In terms of 
this the Orange River Sovereignty became a Republic 
similar to that constituted north of the Vaal River. 
The provisions of the treaty resembled those of the 
Sand River Convention. Endeavours were made by 
the British Resident to arrange the terms of an agree- 
ment between the new Burgher Assembly and the 
Griquas, but the situation was so complicated that no 
settlement could be arrived at. Accordingly the solu- 
tion was left to the new Government. On March 11 
the British Flag was lowered at the Fort, and that of 
the ncAV Republic hoisted in its place. Then the British 
officials and troops left Bloemfontein. 


(To 1868) 

The Orange Free State 

A DiflBcult Situation. — The Basuto. — Very few common- 
wealths have begun their independent existence under 
such difficulties as beset the little community of 
Europeans scattered over the wide plains between 
the Orange and Vaal Rivers. They numbered only 
about fifteen thousand ; on their eastern boundary was 
a powerful and hostile Native state, the inhabitants of 
which outnumbered them by twelve to one. At its 
head was a chief who was not alone an astute diplo- 
matist, but a great organiser and a skilled soldier. 
Moreover the Basuto Tribe was continually being 
augmented by the incorporation of clans which sought 
safety by amalgamation under the strong shield of 
Moshesh. To westward were located various tribes of 
turbulent Natives, to the south-westAvard were the 
Griquas, well-armed and mounted. One great ad- 
vantage which the Europeans possessed lay in the 
enormous reserve of food provided by the herds of 
game which so thickly covered the plains. This at 
least secured them against starvation. 

The Constitution framed. — The people elected re- 
presentatives to meet and frame a Constitution. The 
commonwealth was to be a Republic ; it was named 
the Orange Free State. All adult European residents 
were entitled to vote, naturalised aliens being admitted 
through a qualification based upon property or income. 
The franchise was extended to a few educated men of 
colour. The National Assembly of fifty- six members 
was termed the " Volksraad," or " People's Council." 
At the head of the State was to be an elected President, 
assisted by an Executive Council. The first President 

The Orange Free State 191 

was Mr. Josias Philip Hoffman, whose sympathy for 
t lie Native races was well known. He possessed con- 
sidei"able influence with Moshesh, and there is no doubt 
that it was this circumstance which led to his being 

The Griquas.— The first question of importance the 
lu'w Government had to deal with was in connection 
\N ith the Griquas. Adam Kok began introducing black 
and coloured people into his reserves. This was put 
a stop to, but the sale of land in the Griqiia reserves 
to approved Europeans was permitted. The Griqua 
Captain endeavoured to stand on what he conceived 
to be his rights, in terms of the treaty of alliance with 
the British Government. He was, however, informed 
by the Governor of the Cape Colony that the alliance 
no longer existed. Trouble arose with a Bantu clan 
from the north under a leader called Witsi, who had 
taken refuge in the fastnesses of the Drakensberg to 
the north of Basutoland, and begun raiding in the 
Harrismith district. Other raiding clans operated in 
the south-east. 

Double-dealing of Moshesh. — The Basuto Chief 
denied having any sympathy mth the robbers, but it 
was found that w hen the latter claimed his protection 
they were sympathetically received. 

President Hoffman's Gift of Gunpowder.— President 
Hoffman visited Moshesh in 1854 and afterwards made 
him a present of fifty pounds of gunpowder. When 
the Volksraad met in the following year this transac- 
tion became known, and it caused so much indignation 
that a number of the Burghers, including some members 
of the Volksraad, seized the Fort at Bloemfontein and 
trained the guns on the dwelling of the Head of the 
State. President Hoffman thereupon resigned, and Mr. 
Jacobus Nicolaas Boshof succeeded him. 

Treaty with the Basuto. — Matters were again drift- 
ing towards war with the Basuto. Sir George Grey 
was now High Commissioner and Governor of the Cape 
Colony. He offered his services towards endeavouring 
to effect a settlement, and a treaty was drawn up 
between the Free State authorities and Moshesh, which, 
had it been observed, should have resulted in peace 
being maintained. 

Its Provisions disregarded.— The Border violated.— 

192 A History of South Africa 

HoAvever, the Basuto did not adhere to its terms. The 
Border was continually violated ; quantities of cattle 
and horses Avere stolen and taken to Basutoland. 
Demands were made for the restoration of these, but 
all that could be obtained from the Basuto were a few 
inferior animals. By this method Moshesh made a 
handsome profit out of every looting transaction. 

Transvaal Jealousy. — At this time a section of the 
Burghers north of the Vaal looked somewhat askance 
at the signs of progress evinced by the new Republic. 
It was considered by them that the jurisdiction of the 
original executive of the Emigrant Farmers still ex- 
tended over all the territory north of the Orange. 
This idea was reciprocated by some of the inhabitants 
of the Orange Free State. 

Pretorius visits Bloemfontein. — A deputation from 
the Transvaal, headed by Mr. Pretorius, attended at 
Bloemfontein on February 22, 1857. On the next day 
the third anniversary of the independence of the State 
was celebrated. 

Strained Relations. — The Verge of War. — It tran- 
spired that Mr. Pretorius had invited Moshesh to 
confer with him at Bloemfontein, and that he other- 
wise showed a tendency to assvime authority. This 
was at once repudiated by a proclamation, and Mr. 
Pretorius, wdth his coadjutor, Mr. Goetz, were ordered 
to leave Bloemfontein within tAventy-four hours. Pro- 
ceedings Avere at the same time taken for sedition 
against Mr. Pretorius' local sympathisers. Just then 
a consignment of lead for the South African Republic, 
passing through the Free State, Avas stopped. This was 
taken by the South African Republic as a declaration 
of war, so an armed force crossed the Vaal and as- 
sembled in the district of Winburg, where it AA^as 
joined by a number of those inhabitants of the Free 
State Avho desired union betAveen the tAvo Republics. 
President Boshof also assembled a force. 

A Settlement. — The two commandos faced each 
other on the Rhenoster River, but negotiations Avere 
opened and an agreement Avas arrived at, in terms of 
Avhich the Republics recognised each other's complete 

Basuto Depredations. — In 1858 the depredations of 
the Basuto and the clans under their protection became 

The Orange Free State 193 

intolerable. Moreover, hunting parties —occasionally 
live hundred strong — often entered the Free State and 
Ijiughtered quantities of game in whatever locality 
uited them. Moshesh was several times urged to 
control his people and make them resi)ect the Warden 
Line. He replied in ambiguous terms, significantly 
remarking that when Sir George Cathcart left the 
IJcrea he took the boundary with him. 

War with Basuto. — Thus, early in its career, war 
\N as forced upon the Orange Free State. Two com- 
mandos entered Basutoland, one from the noiiih and 
( )iie from the south. They met with strong resistance, 
and lost somewhat heavily. At this time the Basutos 
were manufacturing gunpowder under instruction 
given by some renegade Europeans. Such, however, 
proved to be of inferior quality, and was quite in- 
effective beyond a short range. 

An Abortive Campaign. — The two commandos 
effected a junction in front of Thaba Bosigo, which, 
however, Avas absolutely impregnable to the Boer 
forces. Then terrible news arrived : it was to the 
effect that a large force of Basutos was raiding the 
districts of Winburg and Smithfield, burning farm- 
houses and sweeping off stock. The commandos at 
once dissolved, every man departing for his home. 

Sir George Grey mediates. — Before this President 
Boshof had applied to the South African Rejjublic for 
help, but had had no satisfactory response. Now he 
communicated with Sir George Grey, Governor of Cape 
Colony, asking him to intervene. With the consent of 
both Houses of Parliament the Governor accepted the 
rdle of mediator. Moshesh agreed to abide by his 
decision. In the meantime President Boshof had ap- 
proached Moshesh with a request for suspension of 
hostilities. An armistice was thereupon agreed to, 
hostilities being suspended pending Sir George Grey's 
award as to the terms of pea4:*e. 

Trouble with the Batlapin.— Just then the sorely- 
irie<l State had troubles on its western border where 
the Batlapin had taken the opportunity of raiding. 
Several murders were committe<I. A commando was 
sent against the Batlapin ; with this a force from the 
South African Republic co-operated. Tlie Batlapin 
were defeated with heavy loss. A strong movement 


194 A History of South Africa 

in favour of union between the two repubUcs now 

Sir George Grey meets Moshesh.— Sir George Grey 
proceeded to Thaba Bosigo and conferred with Moshesh. 
It was then arranged that a meeting betw een the Free 
State Commissioners and the Basuto Chief should take 
place at Beersheba. Moshesh failed to keep the ap- 
pointment. Sir George Grey, anxious to effect a 
settlement, proceeded to Thaba Bosigo again and dis- 
cussed the situation. Eventually a settlement was 
arrived at, confirming the Warden Line, but assigning 
to the Basuto a large area which had been in dispute. 
Early in 1859 Mr. Boshof, worn out by anxiety, re- 
signed. Mr. Esaias Rynier Snyman Avas appointed 
Acting-President. About this time the borders of the 
Free State were extended some distance westward, 
partly by conquest and partly by purchase of territory 
from the chiefs of Native clans. 

Pretorius President of the Orange Free State. — 
Union vetoed.— In February, 1860, Mr. M. W. Pretorius 
consented to leave the South African Republic and 
accept the Presidency of the Orange Free State. A 
proposal towards union of the two Republics w as made, 
but Sir George Grey informed the respective Govern- 
ments that if such a union took place the Sand River 
Convention and the Convention of Bloemfontein would 
be annulled. 

More Trouble with Basuto. — Soon after his assump- 
tion of the office of President, a meeting took place 
between Mr. Pretorius and Moshesh in the Winburg 
district. The President was only attended by twenty 
farmers, whereas Moshesh had a bodyguard of six 
thousand horsemen. A Treaty, having for its object 
the settlement of border difficulties, was entered into. 
The difficulties, however, were not abated. The Border 
Clans, disoAvned by Moshesh w^henever convenient, 
would often raid stock and take them into Basutoland, 
where they could not be traced. In spite of repeated 
remonstrances this practice continued. A large 
number of Europeans of a low class had taken refuge 
among the Basuto, upon whom they had an exceed- 
ingly evil influence. In the mean time Sir George 
Grey, who had been able to exercise some control 
over Moshesh, left South Africa. Moshesh once more 

The Orange Free State 


196 A History of South Africa 

became defiant, and repudiated the treaty he had 
^ entered into Avith President Pretorius. 

Migration of the Griquas to " No Man's Land." — In 
spite of all the difficulties with which they had to con- 
tend, the Free State people rapidly advanced in power 
and prosperity. The population had considerably in- 
creased. For some time the position of the Griquas 
in the south-west of the State had become increasingly 
anomalous. The cancellation of the treaties with 
Great Britain left Adam Kok and his people helpless. 
More and more of the Griqua lands fell into European 
hands. Sir George Grey, feeling that the Griquas had 
a grievance, offered them a large and fertile tract 
known as "No Man's Land," and lying to the south- 
Avestward of Natal. A party which inspected this tract 
reported favourably upon it. Accordingly the Griquas 
sold what remained of their land between the Riet 
and the Orange Rivers, and moved over the Drakens- 
berg. They arrived at a spot close to the present 
town of Kokstad in January, 1863, and spread rapidly 
over the surrounding country. 

Basuto Outrages. — The difficulties between the 
Orange Free State and Basutoland increased ; in view 
of the conduct of Moshesh, such was inevitable. As 
a matter of fact no settlement was desired by the 
Basuto, whose chief, although lavish of conciliatory 
phrases, Avovild never adhere to any agreement which 
defined a common boundary. His consuming ambition 
was to extend westward the limits of his territory. 
Great hunting parties continually crossed the border, 
rounding up large herds of game and driving these 
into Basutoland. The scanty water-supply at the 
homesteads was defiled ; gardens and cultivated fields 
were destroyed; members of the Farmers' families 
were insulted ; occasionally murders took place. 

President Brand. — In October, 1862, President Pre- 
torius resigned and returned to the Transvaal, where 
affairs had fallen into a condition of disorganisation. 
After an interval, Mr. John Henry Brand, an Advocate 
at the Bar of the Supreme Court at Capetown, was 
appointed President. Intellectually and morally 
President Brand stands high among his contemporary 
South Africans. By his wise brain and capable hands 
the ship of the Orange Free State was to be controlled 

The Orange Free State 197 

for many years, and to sail through troubled seas to 
a haven of prosperity. 

In 1808 claims were nimle by Nicholas WaterlxHir 
and Cornells Kok, the nephew of Adam Kok, to large 
tracts to the westward of the Orange Free State. An 
arrangement was arrived at in terms of which Sir 
Philip Wo<lehouse, who succeeded Sir Greorge Grey as 
( lovernor of Cape Colony, consented to act as arbitrator 
in these matters, but Waterboer refused to sign the 
Deed of Submission, so the dispute was not settled. 
Waterboei*'s claim was looked upon as quite pre- 
posterous ; it included land which had been under the 
government of the Sovereignty, and afterwards of the 
Free State, for fifteen years. 

Dutch Reformed Church. — Issue of Paper Money. — 
In 1804 the Dutch Reformed Church of the Orange 
Free State became independent under its own synod. 
This body met for the first time in 1805. There were 
then eleven congregations in the State ; of these seven 
had been provided with ministei's. In 1805 a law was 
enacted preventing any foreign bank from carrying 
on business in the Free State. Shortly afterwards 
paper money to the value of £30,000 was issued. 

Sir Philip Wodehouse arbitrates between Orange 
Free State and Basutos. — Moshesh again grew arro- 
gant. He rei)udiate{l all previous agreements as to 
boundaries, and claimed as his territory about half 
of the districts of Winburg and Harrismith up to the 
Vaal River, inclusive of some two hundred and fifty 
farms for which British titles had been issued. At 
the request of the Volksraad Sir Philip Wodehouse 
consented to act as arbitrator, with the view of 
attempting yet another settlement of the ever-recur- 
ring dispute as to the boundary line between the Free 
State and Basutoland. His award was wholly in 
favour of the former. The Warden Line, with a 
slight modification, was again fixed as the boundary. 
The High Commissioner's decision was communicated 
to the Basuto at a "Pitso," or National Council, and 
caused violent indignation. All, with the exception 
of Moshesh and Letsie, his great son, clamoured for 
war. But Moshesh pei*suaded the people to submit, 
significantly observing that some other occasion for 
war might arise. The general situation was in no 

198 A History of South Africa 

way affected by the award ; looting became worse 
than ever, although Moshesh continued his stereotyped 
professions of peaceable intent. 

War again declared upon Basuto. — Strenuous Opera- 
tions. — The situation was now quite intolerable. On 
June 9 the President, by proclamation, called the 
burghers to arms, and war was again declared upon the 
Basuto. A commando of nearly nine hundred burghers 
took the field. Their camp was attacked by a strong 
force, which was beaten off with considerable loss. 
Large raiding parties entered the Free State, murdering, 
burning, and spoiling. A party of Europeans belong- 
ing to the Transvaal, in crossing the Drakensberg from 
Natal, halted just inside Free State territory. The 
Basutos fell on these and murdered them. The effect 
of this was that a commando of some eight hundred 
burghers from the Transvaal, under Commandant- 
General Paul Kruger, came later to assist the Free 
State force. The Berea Mountain was stormed ; it was 
found that from the height thus gained, the top of 
Thaba Bosigo was within range of the cannon. The 
latter, however, did but little execution. A spirit of 
discontent became evident among the burghers and 
dissensions arose. The weather was cold, and they 
suffered from many discomforts. A second and unsuc- 
cessful assault upon Thaba Bosigo resulted in the death 
of Commandant L. J. Wepenar, one of the bravest men 
who ever fought in South Africa. The commando 
became depleted through desertion. 

Moshesh desires Peace. — Moshesh, who was well 
informed as to what was going on, diplomatically 
suggested an armistice. He wrote to the President 
proposing that the High Commissioner should be re- 
quested to arrange terms of peace. So certain was 
Moshesh that the commando was about to break up, 
that he caused an enormous herd of cattle to be brought 
from the fastnesses of the Maluti Mountains, in the 
expectation that within a few days they would be able 
to graze over their usual winter pasturage. This herd 
was driven to the top of Thaba Bosigo by a pathway 
at the back of the movmtain. The armistice came to 
an end, and General Fick, the Commandant of the 
burghers, refused to renew it. The mountain was 
immediately closely invested ; the cattle, being without 

The Orange Free State 


grass or water, became frantic. They rushed hither 
and thither, doing considei*able damage. Within a few 









mm < 




""'~^^*^;ii^ ~ 



•■'? . 

days the whole herd, nearly 20,000 in number, lay dead 
on the mountain*s top or among the surrounding crags. 

200 A History of South Africa 

Transvaal Commando withdrawn. — In reply to 
Moshesh's letter, the President stated the conditions 
upon which he was prepared to make i^eace. These 
included the surrender of Thaba Bosigo with all arms 
and ammunition, the delivery of 40,000 cattle, 5000 
horses, and 60,000 sheep, cession of territory, and the 
appointment of a magistrate under whose supervision 
the Basutos were in future to be governed. Moshesh 
declined the conditions and asked for further i^arley. 
Renewed fighting took place in which the burghers 
were successful, large numbers of cattle and horses 
being captured. At the end of October the Transvaal 
commando was recalled owing to troubles which had 
begun in the Zoutpansberg. In spite of their depleted 
numbers the burghers prosecuted the war with vigour. 
The need for further men became urgent, so Presi- 
dent Brand took steps towards raising European and 
coloured volunteers. As cash was practically unobtain- 
able, these were to be paid by means of captured stock. 

The High Commissioner intervenes. — The High 
Commissioner, Sir Philip Wodehouse, strongly dis- 
approved of this proceeding, on the ground that the 
persons likely to volunteer were British subjects. He 
wrote in terms of remonstrance to the President, and 
threatened to prohibit the supply of arms and ammu- 
nition to the Free State. The Colonial officials were 
instructed to enforce strictly the provisions of the 
Foreign Enlistment Act in this relation. 

Basutos raid Natal. — Ramanela, a nephew of 
Moshesh, made a raid into Natal and looted a large 
number of cattle and horses belonging to Harrismith 
farmers. Other raids more or less similar followed. 
The High Commissioner demanded restitution of this 
stock. Moshesh, of course, agreed ; but only a small 
consignment of cattle was delivered. The High Com- 
missioner authorised the Natal Government to enforce 
his demands by means of an armed expedition. This 
authority was, however, cancelled before any action 
was taken, so full reparation for these outrages was 
never made. 

Renewed Efforts of Free State. — At the beginning of 
1866 the Free State forces had become much weakened, 
so once more the Basuto took the offensive, looting 
and murdering in the districts of Winburg and 

The Orange Free State 201 

Bethleht^m. Presitlent Brand issued a .stronj? apj^eal to 
the people, urging them to makc^ a further effort ; this 
met with a Kf><><l lesponse. 

Submission of Molapo. — Certain territory from 
whieh tlie Basuto had been driven was annexed. The 
Volksraad endorsed this proceeding. Within the tract 
in question there were ten mission stations supported 
by tlie Paris Evangelical Society ; from these stations 
the missionaries were driven. In the meantime the 
High Commissioner had tendered his services as a 
negotiator with the view of establishing peace. This 
offer the Volksraad courteously but firmly declined. 
The campaign was now conducted with renewed vigour. 
The burghers sent a strong commando to the Maluti 
Mountains and captured many cattle. The result 
was that Molapo, one of Moshesh's sons, submitted. 
Negotiations with Moshesh were renewed at the latter's 
request, and a treaty of peace was entered into. The 
Basuto Chief agreed to surrender the territory annexed 
by the Volksraad and to pay three thousand head 
of cattle. His son Molapo and the latter's people 
were to remain subjects of the Free State. The High 
Commissioner at once expressed disapproval of the 
treaty ; he considered that too much ground had been 
taken from the Basuto, and that Molapo's clan should 
not have been separated from the rest of the tribe. 
Moshesh and his son Letsie made application to be 
taken under British protection. This was submitted 
to the Secretary of State, who refused to sanction the 
proposal. Letsie and several other chiefs then ap- 
proached the Free State with a proposal that they 
should become its subjects. 

Some of the Basuto regained courage and returned 
to the ceded and annexed territory, so once more the 
harassed Free State commandos had to be assembled. 
However, the only military operations now undertaken 
were against the intruders. Letsie, Moperi, and Moli- 
tsane were, on their application, i*eceived as Free State 
subjects. But this also met with the disapproval of 
the High Conmiissioner, and called forth another threat 
to the effect that it might be found necessary to rescind 
the Treaty of Bh)enif()ntein. 

The High Commissioner restricts Supply of Ammu- 
nition. — In the meantime the ci*ops had been harvested, 

202 A History of South Africa 

and their supply of food having been thus renewed, 
the Basuto again flew to arms. The President once 
more appealed to the burghers to take the field ; they 
responded with enthusiasm. The stronghold of a chief 
named Makawi was taken by assault ; other substantial 
victories :^llowed. It was evident that at length the 
burghers were in a position to completely vanquish 
their foes. But it was not to be. Moshesh, who was 
old and in failing health, renewed his efforts toAvards 
persuading the High Commissioner to take him over as 
a British subject. The efforts were successful. Sir 
Philip Wodehouse issued a proclamation on March 12, 

* 1868, annexing Basutoland to the British Crown. He 
at the same time restricted the transmission of ammu- 
nition to the Orange Free State. 

Basutoland becomes British Territory. — These pro- 
ceedings caused great indignation. It was felt by the 
burghers that the long and arduous struggle with the 
Basuto had been forced upon them, and that they were 
now robbed of the fruits of their victory. It was held 
that the annexation of Basutoland was a violation of 
the Bloemfontein Convention. The State was much 
impoverished. Liabilities amounting to £105,000 had 

^ been incurred, and it was difficult to see what taxation 
could be imposed to liquidate this. The High Com- 
missioner proceeded to Basutoland, and after inquiry 
and negotiation a boundary was fixed. The Free 
State was compelled to surrender a portion of the 
territory recently annexed. The line then laid down 
is the present existing boundary. In May the Volks- 
raad ratified the settlement, with only one dissentient. 
Its supply of ammunition being cut off, the State felt 
itself to be powerless. 

Death of Moshesh. — His Character. — On May 11, 
1870, Moshesh died, at the age of seventy-seven. In 
character and intellect this chief towers high above 
the rest of the Bantu race. Moshesh achieved great- 
ness by the force of his own individuality, and irre- 
spective of European assistance. In his latter years 
the French missionaries no doubt gave him valuable 
advice, but it was Moshesh, and Moshesh alone, who 
laid the still-enduring foundations of the Basuto State. 
A skilful soldier, when the battle was won he substi- 
tuted merciful methods for the ferocity which usually 

The Orange Free State 203 

charafteriserl the barbarian conqueror. In forty years 
1m' had changed a disorganisexl aggregation of the frag- 
ments of a few almost destroyed clans int<i a ixjwer- 
ful and liomogeneous tribe. It is true that he seldom 
kei)t his engagements — that his word could not be 
depended upon ; but it must be remembered that among 
savages truthfulness is not regarded so highly as it is 
among civilised people. And when it is, a question of 
crooked diplomacy — of failure to abide by formal en- 
gagements — which among the nations dare throw the 
first stone? 

In the early days of his rule, having heard of the 
benefits conferred on some of the western tribes by 
missionaries, Moshesh requested a certain half-breed 
hunter named Adam Krotz to i)urchase a missionary 
for him, and sent two hundred head of cattle for the 
purpose. This indicates how utterly ignorant the chief 
was of the world lying outside his mountain realm. 
Moshesh's sense of humour is evinced by the following 
well-authenticated anecdote. In the fastnesses of the 
Malutis some clans for a long time adhered to the 
practice of cannibalism, and made occasional raids for 
the purpose of capturing human meat. The minor 
chiefs were anxious to attack and destroy these people, 
but Moshesh on principle preferred endeavouring to 
persuade them to abandon their objectionable mode of 
life. On the occasion of* a certain raid by these people 
some of the sub-chiefs came and indignantly repeated 
the demand that they should be allowed to attack the 
offenders. They reproached Moshesh for his refusal, 
saying they had expected that as these people had 
killed and eaten Moshesh's own grandfather he would 
not have protected them. Moshesh smiled and replied, 
'* Well, I have always been taught that I should rever- 
ence the graves of my ancestors." 


(To 1889) 

The Orange Free State and Griqualand West 

First DiscoYery of Diamonds. — In the year 1867 an event 
occurred which was destined to have an important 
bearing on the fortunes of South Africa. A trader 
named O'Reilly visited the farm of a man named Van 
Niekerk, in the Hopetown district. Van Niekerk 
possessed a collection of pebbles, including agates and 
crystals, of which many beautiful specimens are found 
in the Orange River drift. Among these was one of 
peculiar lustre which had been picked up in the vicinity 
of the homestead by a Bushman boy. This pebble was 
given to O'Reilly, who took it to Grahamstown, where 
Dr. Atherstone pronounced it to be a diamond. It was 
valued at £500. A search for similar pebbles was 

" The Star of South Africa."— Further DiscoYeries.— 
For some time no more diamonds were discovered, but 
in 1869 Van Niekerk found a large one in the possession 
of a Hottentot. He purchased this for £400 ; it became 
subsequently known as the " Star of South Africa," 
and was valued at £25,000. The discovery of the second 
diamond caused great excitement; others were soon 
found among the pebble-deposits on the banks of the 
Vaal. A large number of people proceeded to the 
latter, seeking for the precious stones. Before the end 
of 1870 there were upwards of 10,000 seekers camped at 
various spots along the river valley, between Hebron 
and where the Vaal flows into the Orange. Many 
diamonds were found ; it Avas soon made clear that the 
field was a highly payable one. 

The Dry Diggings. — So far only the alluvial drift in 
the vicinity of the river had been worked, but towards 

The Orange Free State and Griqualand West 205 

the t'lid of the year what came to be known as "The 
Dry Diggings" were discovered. At a farm called 
Buittontein, some twenty miles from the Vaal, a 
n limber of small diamonds were found embedded in 
t he plaster of a cottage. A search revealed the 
circumstance that the surrounding ground was highly 
diamondiferous. On the adjoining farm, " Du Toit's 
Pan," diamonds were also found, and on the farm 
" Vooruitzicht," about two miles away, another mine 
was opened. Soon the richest of all was discovered ; 
this was the Colesberg Kopje, subsequently known as 


the Kimberley Mine. These four mines — all within 
a radius of two and a half miles — were subsequently 
found to be volcanic pipes filled with petrified mud, 
the diamonds being embedded in the latter. 

Influx of Diggers.— People gathered to the new 
Golconda from all over South Africa. Cities of tents 
and wagons sprang up nuishroom-like, almost in a 

Camp Life.— Fever.— In the early days thei-e was 
little crime; for the population was largely composed 
of j)eaceful farmers; later, however, there was an 
influx of questionable characters from all over the 

2o6 A History of South Africa 

world, and disorder became rampant. The sanitary- 
conditions were unspeakably bad. High winds, violent 
dust-storms, blazing heat and swarms of flies combined 
to make life highly uncomfortable. Camp fever broke 
out and took its heavy toll. In the earliest days of the 
Dry Diggings water had to be fetched from a distance 
of seven miles. 

Claims of the Griquas. — The diamondif erous area on 
the banks of the Vaal River was included in the tract 
which had been claimed on behalf of Nicholas Water- 
boer. The claim rested principally upon the treaty made 
in 1838 between Adam Kok and Andries Waterboer, in 
terms of which all the land west of a line drawn from 
Ramah on the Orange River to Plattberg on the Vaal 
was regarded as belonging to the latter. This tract, 
with the exception of the small area known as Albania, 
in the extreme south-west, had been treated as an 
integral part of the Orange Free State ever since the 
Bloemfontein Convention. It contained many farms 

* for which British titles had been issued during the 
period of sovereignty. 

Waterboer cedes his Rights to Great Britain.— 
Nicholas Waterboer now offered to cede his interests in 
" the tract in question to the British Crown. 

Action of the High Commissioner. — The Orange Free 
State appointed officials to administer the various 
mining camps. General Hay, who was Acting High 
Commissioner, informed President Brand that he did 
not acknowledge the rights of the Orange Free State to 
the territory. The British officials on the western 
bank of the Vaal began to exercise jurisdiction on the 
eastern bank. Sir Henry Barkly, the new High Com- 
missioner, arrived in Cape Town early in 1871, and soon 
afterwards proceeded to the Diamond Fields, after 
which he visited Bloemfontein. The authorities of the 
Orange Free State strenuously affirmed their sovereign 
rights over the territory in dispute, and suggested that 
the matter should be settled by arbitration, either by 

* the Emperor of Germany, the King of the Netherlands, 
or the President of the United States of America. 
This the High Commissioner would not consent to. He 
made an alternative proposal — that the dispute should 
be settled by arbitrators nominated by himself,— but 
President Brand refused to agree. Notice was given to 

The Orange Free State and Griqualand West 207 

British subjects at the Diamond Fields that they were 
only to i)ay taxes to the British authorities, and a force 
of the Frontier Armed and Mounted Police was moved 
to Klip Drift, on the western bank of the Vaal. The 
President called out a commando to enforce the 


authority of the State. Gi*eat and justifiable irritation 
was caused through a proclamation issued by the Elarl 
of Kimberley, in which it was stated that "Her 
Majesty's Government would see with great dissatis- 
tjiction any encroachment on the Griqua territory by 

2o8 A History of South Africa 

those Republics which would open to the Boers an 
extended field for their slave-dealing operations." 

Keate Award. — The High Commissioner asked the 
Parliament at the Cape to approve of the annexation of 
the territory in dispute. After a long debate the 
suggestion was approved by a majority so narrow that 
the vote was not acted upon. However, in October the 
Keate Award (see p. 218) was published, and a few 
days later the territory of Nicholas Waterboer was 
annexed to the British Crown and given the name of 
Griqualand West. On November 1, the British flag was 
hoisted at the mining camp at the Colesberg Kopje, 
afterwards known as Kimberley. The proceedings 
evoked no enthusiasm. President Brand entered a 
formal protest ; throughout the Free State there was 
great indignation. The Volksraad held sittings with 
closed doors ; many of the members were in favour of 
taking up arms, but eventually other counsels pre- 
vailed, the commando wa s disbanded and a long protest 
against the action of the High Commissioner was 
adopted at the close of the session. 

GoYernment by TriumYirate. — The arrangements for 
the Government of the newly annexed territory were 
somewhat peculiar. A triumvirate was appointed, 
whose function it was to see that the instructions 
issued by the High Commissioner were carried out. A 
High Court with a recorder and the usual subordinate 
officers was established. The territory was divided 
into three districts, for each of which a resident 
magistrate was appointed. 

Local Dissatisfaction. — The feeling throughout 
South Africa, even on the part of most English people, 
Avas against the annexation, — although it was generally 
admitted that it would have been difficult for the Free 
State Government to have controlled the cosmopolitan 
crowd who flocked to the mines. The new regime gave 
no local satisfaction ; the administration was based on 
the principle that the most civilised Europeans and the 
least civilised Natives were to be given similar privi- 
leges and subjected to similar restraints. The coloured 
labourers took to drink and stole diamonds from their 
employers ; these diamonds they had no difficulty in 
disposing of to low-class Europeans. Representations 
to the triumvirate were barren of any result. In 

The Orange Free State and Griqualand West 209 

Decern Ijer, 1871, the diKKei'"^ took the law iuto their own 
hands and burned down four low-class liquor shops, 
\\lii(Ii \\(^re notorious as clearing-houses for stolen 

The Cape Parliament refuses Annexation. — In 1872 
a Bill, providing for the annexation of the new 
province, was introduced by the Governor in the Cape 
House of Assembly. This was hotly opi3osed, especially 
by Mr. J. X. Merriman, and, in the face of an over- 
whelming adverse vote, was Avithdrawn. Matters at 
the diggings did not improve. Serious crime increased. 
Further tent-burnings took place in July. In September 
the High Commissioner visited the Diamond Fields. As 
the governing triumvirate had proved a failure, Mr. 
Richard Southey was appoined Administrator. Shortly 
afterwards his status was raised to that of Lieutenant- 
Governor. In July, 1873, Griqualand West was made a 
Crown Colony. 

In the meantime the boundary between Griqualand 
West and the Orange Free State had not yet been 
defined. Steps were taken towards the appointment 
of a delimitation commission, but difficulties arose 
regarding the terms of the deed of submission. In 
1874, Kimberley, as the township at the Colesberg 
Kopje was now called, was ahnost in a state of insur- 
rection, principally owing to the evil Of illicit diamond 
buying. A Mutual Protection Association was formed ; 
men were drilled and armed. Early in the following 
year a military force of over three hundred men was 
sent to restore order. The leaders of the Mutual 
Protection Association were tried for sedition, but the 
jury refused to convict them. 

Discovery of other Mines. — The Orange Free State 
was now rapidly becoming prosperous. The revenue 
^^as increasing, and the value of the paper currency 
rose almost to par. Soon all the "bluebacks," as 
the government notes were called, were redeemed. 
Diamond mines were discovered within Free State 
territory ; one, at Jagersfoutein, and another developed 
some years later at Wesselton, turned out to be very 

Seizure of Guns. — In 1872 serious differences arose 
between the British authorities and the Orange Free 
State. As the diggings developed, the demand for 


2IO A History of South Africa 

Native labour became very great. Soon it got to be 
known throughout Kaffirland that Natives working for 
a spell on the Diamond Fields were permitted to obtain 
guns and ammunition. This caused a large influx, 
more especially from Basutoland. Wagon-loads of 
guns were confiscated when passing through Free 
State territory. Three such wagons were seized in the 
vicinity of the as yet undefined line near Magersf ontein, 
and removed to Bloemfontein. 

An Ultimatum. — This was followed by an ultimatum 
from the High Commissioner demanding the return of 
the wagons and their contents, and the payment of 
£600 damages. The ultimatum was complied with 
under protest. The Free State authorities also objected 
to armed bodies of Basuto crossing their territory. 
Some of the Natives were arrested and their guns were 
confiscated. On one occasion a body of seventy-five 
armed Basuto were met by the Free State Police and 
driven back over the border with a loss of two killed 
and two wounded. There can be no doubt that the 
arming of the Natives on the Diamond Fields w^as 
the cause of the outbreak of war in 1877, and of the 
various conflicts during succeeding years. 

President Brand proceeds to London. — In 1876, 
under authority from the Volksraad, President Brand 
proceeded to London to confer with the British 
authorities. In the meantime a judge had been 
appointed by the High Commissioner to investigate 
the Griqua claims. 

Judicial Decision upon Griqua Claims ; a Settlement 
arrived at. — The resulting report was to the effect 
that Nicholas Waterboer had no right whatever to the 
territory in which the Diamond Fields were situated. 
Lord Carnarvon was now Secretary of State. He took 
up the position that as vested interests had grown up 
and as the inhabitants of the territory in question were 
now mainly British, the idea of its retrocession could 
not be entertained. A few farms along the line Avere 
restored to the Orange Free State, and £90,000 was paid 
as a solatium. 

Griqualand West annexed to Cape Colony.— In 1877, 
another Bill providing for the annexation of Griqua- 
land West to the Cape Colony was introduced in the 
Cape House of Assembly. As a settlement between 

The Orange Free State and Griqualand West 211 

tlie Orange Free State and the Inii>erial Government 
liad tlien been arrived at, the annexation proposal was 
no longer opi>osed, and the Bill became law. It was 
!K)t, however, promulgated until 1879. 

Rebellion. — The Griquas, Koranas, Bechuana and the 
Batia{)in residing in the Province, being disappointed 
as to supjKJsed benefits which they had believed 
would accrue to them under British rule, broke out 
into rebellion in 1878. There was very severe fighting, 
more especially with the Griquas. By the end of the 
> car, however, the war was at an end. 

Prosperity of the Free State. — From now until the 
last yeai- of the century the Orange Free State was 
happy in having practically no history. It rapidly 
developed into a prosperous and well-ordered State in 
which there was little crime and no pauperism. A 
Customs Union was entered into with the Cape Colony, 
and railways were extended through Free State 
territory from both the Cape Colony and Natal. In 
1888 President Brand — now Sir John Brand — died. For 
twenty-four years his skill and wisdom had guided the 
ship of the State through both smooth and troubled 
waters. He was succeeded by Chief Justice F. W. 
Reitz, who held office until 1896, when Mr. M. T. Steyn 
became President. 

Offensive and Defensive Alliance with the Trans- 
vaal. — The last and most momentous development of 
policy by the Orange Free State was its entering into 
an offensive and defensive alliance with the Souths 
African Republic in 1897. 


(To 1884) 

The South African Republic 

Early Dissensions. — North of the Vaal River matters 
were in a transition stage. The enmity between the 
two most influential men in the state, Pretorius and 
Potgieter, was the cause of considerable disorganisation. 
Ohrigstad. — Malaria. — Lydenburg.— Ohrigstad, in the 
extreme north-east of the Transvaal, was chosen as the 
capital ; the people wished to make Delagoa Bay their 
port, so as to be free from all connection with the Cape. 
But a terrible misfortune befell in the form of an out- 
break of malarial fever. This caused very great 
mortality ; in some instances whole families died out. 
Another site was chosen among the mountains to the 
south-westward, and here the new capital was estab- 
lished. It was named Lydenburg, in commemoration 
of the sufferings which its founders had undergone. 
Here the Volksraad met in January, 1857. An attempt 
at a solution of the existing discords was now made. 
It has been seen that the Sand River Convention had 
been entered into on the part of the South African 
Republic only by Commandant-General Pretorius and 
Commandant-General Joubert and their followers, — the 
other two Commandants-General not being represented. 

Pretorius and Potgieter reconciled. — Another vil- 
lage named Rustenburg had been founded in the 
Western Transvaal. Here the Volksraad met in March, 
1852, and a reconciliation between Potgieter and 
Pretorius was, much to the joy of the people, brought 

Native Troubles.— The Bapedi, Sekwati, Setyeli. — 
In the same year trouble arose with the Natives in the 
Transvaal. Sekwati, Chief of the Bapedi tribe, in the 

The South African Republic 213 

Zoutpansberg district, was in strong sympathy with 
Moshesh. The Bapedi had managed to arm themselves, 
largely through the medium of hunters who had 
organised expeditions to the interior. They began 
looting cattle, so it was found necessary to attack 
t liein. Sekwati (X"cupied a formidable stronghold, 
wliich, however, had no water supply. This was 
closely invested, and as the Bai>edi refused to sur- 
render their arms it was decided to subdue them 
through famine. Large numbers of the Natives 
l>erished. The Bakwena Chief, Setyeli, with whom 
Dr. Livingstone had resided as missionary, took uiy^ome 
ground without permission on the Kolobeng River and 
declared his independence. Another clan, under a 
petty chief called Moselele, became recalcitrant and 
joined Setyeli. A commando was sent against them. 

Seizure of Dr. Livingstone's Goods. — In the attack 
on Kolobeng some of Dr. Livingstone's property was 
confiscated. This circumstance occasioned much con- 
troversy. The Farmers justified their action by citing 
the circumstance that the property seized included 
giuis and gunmakers' tools. Trouble also arose with 
the Barolong Chief Montsiwa, who retired to a territory 
north of the Molopo River. 

Death of Pretorius and of Potgieter. — In 1853 Andries 
Hendrick Potgieter and Andries Pretorius, the two 
great leaders of the Emigrant Farmers, passed away. 
The high character and great ability of these men have 
long been recognised. Pretorius was the more heroic 
figure. His death-illness lasted for a month, during 
which time people came from far and near to his 
bedside to bid him farewell. These included several 
Native chiefs, who manifested great grief and knelt 
U) kiss his hand. He urged his people to put an end 
to their differences and co-operate for the good of the 
State. He died on July 23, 1853, at the age of fifty- 
four. The new village of Pretoria, which subsequently 
became the capital of the Transvaal, was named in his 
honour. Here his bones were re-iuterred with much 
ceremony in 1891. 

Confusion and Discord.— The Transvaal Reimblic 
was now divided into iive districts, namely, Pot<^'hef- 
str(N)m, Lydenhurg, Zoutpansberg, Rustenburg, and Pre- 
toria. There was as yet no President. The Government 

214 A History of South Africa 

was carried on by tliree Commandants-General, each 
of whom could summon to his assistance the Com- 
mandants and Field Cornets under his jurisdiction. 
All were subject to the Volksraad. Under such cir- 
cumstances control was inevitably weak. The laws 
were often defied ; confusion and discord resulted. 
The advice of the dying Pretorius was, unfortunately, 
disregarded. Although there was little crime, much 
arbitrariness and injustice were practised. 

Makapan's Insurrection. — In 1854 a hunting party 
consisting of thirteen men with ten women and child- 
ren, entered the Waterberg district and camped close 
to the kraal of a chief called Makapan. They were 
attacked and the whole party murdered. The leader, 
Hermanns Potgieter, was flayed alive. Makapan's 
people, joined by other clans, then began to pillage 
all in their vicinity. A commando assembled and the 
enemy took refuge in caverns, which were impreg- 
nable against assault. The entrances were blocked up, 
and all inside perished. 

Ecclesiastical Matters. — So far, there was only 
one clergyman in the Transvaal — the Reverend Dirk 
van der Hoff. He came to South Africa from Holland 
in 1853. In 1854 two clergymen were deputed by the 
Cape Synod to visit the Republic and hold services 
in the various towns. This friendly offer Avas much 
resented, a circumstance which shows how keenly the 
Emigrant Farmers dreaded the slightest interference 
with their complete independence. 

New Constitution drafted. — In 1855 a petition was 
presented to the Volksraad praying that a committee 
might be appointed for the purpose of drafting a new 
Constitution. The prayer was granted. A committee 
of three was constituted ; one of its members was Mr. 
Stephanus Paulus Johannes Kruger, who was in later 
and more stirring times the last of the line of Presidents 
of the South African Republic. The draft was sub- 
mitted to a representative assembly of twenty-four 
members, one from each field-cornetcy in the State, 
and after certain amendments had been made, was 
adopted. It provided for a Legislative Assembly, to 
be termed the "Volksraad," which was to consist of 
twenty-four members, half of Avhom had to retire at 
the end of two years ; thereafter half retiring yearly. 

The South African Republic 215 

Th«' Executive consisted of a President — who was to 
hold ofliee for five yeai's — the Government Secretary, * 
and two burghers ai)iK)inted by the Volksraad. One 
Commandant-General, who was to be subordinate to 
t lie President, had to be api)ointed for the whole State, 
liunddrosts and Heemraden for each district were 
to \w elected by the people. The franchise was re- 
-tiieted to iK3i*sons of Euroi)ean descent. The Dutch 
I Reformed Church was to be the State Church, and 
its teaching to be that defined by the Synod of Dor- 
drecht and the Heidelberg Catechism. Slavery was 
piohibited, and the press was declared to be free. '^ 
Dealing in anununition was to be a Government 

The Potchefstroom Yolksraad. — Lydenburg con- 
tinues obstinate. — On January 5, 1857, the Volksraad 
met at Potchefstroom. Marthinus Wessel Pretorius, 
son of the late Commandant-General, was appointed ^ 
President, and Stephanus Schoeman, of Zoutpansberg, 
Commandant-General. But neither Lydenburg nor 
Zk)utpansberg would have anything to do with the 
new Constitution. Public meetings were held at each 
place respectively, and the Potchefstroom proceedings 
were reinidiated. Mr. Schoeman refused the appoint- 
ment offered him. However, in the following year 
Zoutpansberg consented to be incorporated in the 
Republic. Lydenberg, which from 1858 included the 
former Republic of Utrecht, remamed a separate 
Republican unit until 1860. 

Religious ControYersy. — The " Dopper " Church. — 
During the period between 1858 and 1864 utter con- 
fusion reigned north of the Vaal River. In 1858 and 
the following year there was considerable religious 
controversy. The principal point at issue was whether 
or not hymns should be used in public worship. A 
certain section of the i>eople, headed by the Reverend 
Mr. Postma, decided that only psalms and rhymed 
paraphrases of scripture were i)ermissible. A seiwiratist 
body, nuich resembling the Church of the Scottish 
CovenanttM-s, was formed by Mr. Postma's following. 
This, commonly known as the " DopjH^r Church," still 
exists. In 1859 the Tnuisvaivl Church unite<l with that 
of the Ca|)e, but, owing to a decision of the Supreme 
Court at Cape Town, this union came to an end in 1862. 

2i6 A History of South Africa 

Civil War.— It would be profitless to trace the 
political dissensions which rent the state and kejjt it 
in a condition of civil war. However, but little fighting 
took place. At one time there were two Presidents 
and two rival Governments. At length, in 1864, 
Martinus Wessels Pretorius returned from the Orange 
Free State and successfully mediated between the rival 
factions. A new Volksraad was elected ; Mr. Pretorius 
was chosen as President and Mr. Paul Kruger as 
Commandant-General. Then the dissensions finally 
ceased ; but the state was insolvent, and official matters 
• were in a condition of almost inextricable confusion. 
The South African Republic had lost the confidence of 
the rest of South Africa ; the Orange Free State no 
longer desired union with its neighbour of the north. 
The Natives took advantage of this unsatisfactory state 
of things, and several of the tribesmen became defiant. 
Many of the Natives had obtained guns of the most 
modern pattern from hunters and traders, and were 
thus better armed than the burghers of the Republic, 
who still adhered to the large and clumsy weapons 
which they had learnt to use with such good effect. 

War between Native Tribes. — Apprenticeships. — 
Native tribes to the northward and westward of the 
Republic were continually at war with each other, and 
were always willing to sell their captives as slaves. A 
number of such were purchased by Europeans and 
brought into the Transvaal, where they were appren- 
ticed for definite terms to the Farmers. This practice, 
which was not, however, carried on to a very great 
extent, formed the basis of charges of slavery subse- 
quently brought against the Republic. There is no 
reason to believe that these children were badly treated. 
Had it not been that their captors knew they could 
make some profit out of them, the children would no 
doubt have been killed, in accordance with the practice 
hitherto followed. In 1877, when the Transvaal was 
annexed, not a single individual was found in any 
servitude which resembled slavery. 

Condition of the People. — In spite of their rude and 
uncultured life, the majority of the Transvaal burghers 
and their families at this period were probably as 
healthy and as happy as any people under the sun. 
They had abundance of food, for the country was still 

The South African Republic 217 

possessed of those vast Iierds of game which have since 
l)een so ruthlessly destroyed. The people knew no 
luxury; neither did they experience want. In the 
northern iK)rtion of the Republic, esj)ecially in the 
district of Zoutpansberg, the more restless and lawless 
ongregated. These included individuals of almost 
\cry utttionality, many of whom were fugitives from 
justice. The region they occupied had once been thickly 
I>oi)ulated by Natives, but the armies of Tshaka, 
I'mziligazi, and other savage conquerors had swept it 
with the besom of destruction over and over again. 
Now, when the advent of the White Man had rendered 
a recurrence of such raids imjjossible, the survivors of 
the scattered clans returned to their old homes. By 
this means several fairly numerous communities of 
Natives came into being, and these became defiant 
when the Europeans fell into dissension. 

Intermittent War — The result was a condition of 
intermittent war, which lasted for several years. In 
the course of this many unjustifiable deeds were com- 
mitted. Into this vortex of strife tribes as far distant 
as the Matshangana, imder Umsila, and the Amaswazi 
were diawn. 

Discovery of Diamonds. — It was only the discovery 
of diamonds which made the country on the north- 
western bank of the Vaal River below Bloemhof 
imix)rtant. There were several claimants to this tract, 
including the Griquas, under Nicholas Waterboer, the 
Batlapin, and some Korana clans. 

Extension of Boundaries. — In 1869, President Pre- 
torius, by proclamation, extended the south-western 
bordeis of the Transvaal State to the Hart River and 
along the course of the latter from its junction with 
the Vaal. This proceeding was objected to by the 
various claimants. 

Intervention of British Government. — In 1870, the 
Acting High Connnissioner ((leneral Hay) remonstrated 
and requested the President to abstain " from encroach- 
ments without lawful and sufficient cause up>on the pos- 
sessions of Native tribes in friendly alliance with Her 
Majesty's Government." The alliances referred to were 
I lot, however, specified. 8oon afterwards a large number 
of diggers were scattered along both banks of the Vaal. 
The community on the western bank declared itself 

2i8 A History of South Africa 

a Republic. The Acting High Commissioner, Without 
annexing the country, appointed a Special Magistrate 
to be stationed at Klip Drift, now Barkly West. Upon 
this the Republic came to an end. Shortly after his 
assumption of duty as High Commissioner, in 1871, Sir 
Henry Barkly visited the Diamond Fields, where he was 
met by President Pretorius. An agreement was entered 
into, in terms of which a Court of Arbitration, to deal 
with the territory in dispute, had to be established. 
The Special Magistrate of Klip Drift and the Landdrost 
of Wakkerstroom were appointed arbitrators. In case 
they disagreed Lieut.-Governor Keate of Natal w^as to 
be referee. After a considerable amount of evidence 
had been taken, and no agreement arrived at by the 
two arbitrators, the referee was called in. His decision, 
since known as the "Keate Award," was issued on 
October 17, 1871. It was adverse to the South African 
Republic in every particular. The territory in dispute 
was divided between Nicholas Waterboer, the Barolong 
and the Batlapin. It is now generally admitted that 
the Keate Award was an unjust one, but for this 
Lieut.-Governor Keate is not to be blamed. The case 
for the South African Republic was incompletely and 
unskilfully presented. Upon the evidence adduced no 
decision other than the one given was possible. 

The Keate Award. — The Keate Award filled the 
South African Republic with indignation and dismay. 
It cut off from the Republic not only the western 
diamond field, but the whole district of Bloemhof and 
portions of the districts of Potchef stroom and Marico — 
tracts occupied from the very earliest days of the Great 
Trek by the Emigrant Farmers. It was not, however, 
enforced except in respect of the more southern areas. 
Under the storm of indignation which arose the Pre- 
sident and the State Attorney resigned. 

Desire for Union. — Once more a strong feeling in 
favour of union arose in the two Republics. In- 
fluentially signed requisitions were sent to President 
Brand, asking him to accept the Presidency of the 
Northern Republic, in addition to that of the Orange 
Free State. It was held by many that even if the 
threat of annulling the Conventions, which had been 
made when union had been formerly proposed, were 
now to be put in force, the Republics would be in no 

The South African Republic 219 

worse iK>8ition. It was allegecl that these Conventions 
had been broken by Great Britain on several occasions. 
Not the least of the grievances was in respect of the 
\atives from Basutoland and other parts now being 
|K»rmitted to obtain guns and ammunition at the 
Diamond Fields. President Brand declined the nomina- 

President Brand's Restraining Influence. — At this 
(lirticult period Prosident Brand exercised a strongly 
HKKlerating influence. His utterances laid great stress 
on the importance of endeavouring to bring about a 
good understanding between the two White Races. 
He ijointed out that such mistakes as had been made 
were probably due to ignorance of the facts. At no 
stage of his distinguished career did President Brand 
show himself so great as at this crisis. 

President Burgers. — The choice of the South African 
Reimblic then fell upon the Rev. Thomas Francois 
Burgers, a Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church at 
Hanover in the Cape Colony. Mr. Burgers was a 
brilliant man ; he conceived great ideas, but was 
somewhat unpractical. His religious views were not 
orth(xiox ; this not alone weakened his influence with 
the burghers, but it almost threatened the State with 

Migration of the Orthodox. — In the second year of 
Mr. Burgers' Presidency, a number of the more con- 
servative of the Transvaal burghers decided that they 
could not conscientiously remain under the rule of one 
whom they regarded as an infidel. Accordingly they 
sold their farms, loaded their immense wagons and 
with their wives, children, stock, and a few household 
goods plunged into the burning sands of the Northern 
Kalahari, and made for the western coast. Many of the 
people and most of the stock died upon that dolorous 
pilgrimage. Eventually the party won through to the 
hunting-grounds of Damaraland, where they led a 
nomadic life for several years before finally settling 
down in Portuguese territory north of the Kunene 
River. They then numbered 352 souls. There is no 
record as to how many left the Transvmil. 

Discovery of Alluvial Gold.— In 1873 rich alluvial ¥ 
gold was discovered in the Lydenburg district, and two ^ 
large mining camps — "Mac Mac"— so called from the 

220 A History of South Africa 

number of Scotchmen there residing — and "Pilgrim's 
Rest" — were formed. Considerable qviantities of gold 
were produced, some of the nuggets weighing as much 
as ten pounds each. Many of the diggers undertook 
prospecting operations in the low country and were 
badly stricken with fever. Out of thirty-five men who 
descended the mountain range in the summer of 1873, 
twenty-seven died. 

Cutting the Road to Delagoa Bay. — During the follow- 
ing year an expedition was organised by President 
Burgers at the Gold Fields to complete the cutting of 
the road to Delagoa Bay through the Lebomba Range, 
and to convey from Delagoa Bay to Pretoria a quantity 
of war material. Most of this had been obtained in 
Germany, and was part of the spoil of the Franco- 
German War. 

Attack on Sikukuni. — Early in 1876 war was de- 
clared against the Bapedi tribe, located on the Oli- 
fants River, to the westward of Lydenburg. This 
had been long expected, for the Chief, Sikukuni, had 
refused to pay hut-tax. The struggle was protracted 
and exhausting, for the strongholds occupied by the 
Bapedi were well fortified. The President wished to 
employ one thousand Swazis to assist in the operation, 
but the High Commissioner vetoed the proposal. There 
were many English volunteers with the Boer forces. 
The burghers feared they were, on account of the 
President's unorthodoxy, under the displeasure of 
Heaven. The commandos withdrew when the season 
of horse - sickness approached, leaving the Bapedi 

Unsatisfactory Financial Conditions. — The finances 
of the South African Republic were now in a very 
unsatisfactory state. Taxes were unpaid, and there 
• was general discontent. A strong party was in favour 
of annexation to the British Crown, or else federa- 
tion according to the plan of Lord Carnarvon. This 
party, however, was principally composed of those 
who had flocked into the towns and mining camps. 
Lord Carnarvon believed that the time had come for 
him to bring about his pet scheme, so he issued a 
dormant commission to Mr. Theophilus Shepstone, 
authorising him in certain circumstances to proclaim 
British sovereignty over the South African Republic. 

The South African Republic 221 

Mr. Shepstone proceeded to Pretoria with a small 
escort of iK)lice in January, 1877, and conferred with 
the President and the Executive. He suggested the 
adoption of Lord Carnarvon's Permissive Federation 
Bill, but this the Volk.sraad rejected. Shepstone laid 
stress on the danger of a Zulu attack. 

Annexation of the Transvaal. — On April 12 he 
issued the l*roclamation of Annexation. The Executive 
( 'ouncil formally protested against this step. Two of 
its members, Mr. Paul Kruger and Doctor Jorissen, 
decided to proceed to England for the purpose of pre- 
senting this protest to the British Government. In 
|)roclaiming the annexation, a formal promise was * 
made that the Transvaal should remain a separate 
government with its own laws, and that a constitution 
would be framed, affording the fullest possible legis- 
lative privileges. 

Broken Promises. — Sir Garnet Wolseley. — This 
promise was never kept. The Transvaal was treated ' 
as a Crown Colony. For a time Shepstone acted as 
Administrator. He was succeeded by Colonel Owen 
Lanyon, who, although a brave soldier, was quite 
unfitted through temperament and want of experience 
for his new post. A second deputation, bearing a 
protest against the annexation, proceeded to England 
in 1878. It was told that retrocession of the country 
was impossible. Now a serious agitation in favour of 
indej>endence arose among the farmers, but most of 
the dwellers in the towns were in favour of a con- 
tinuance of British rule. In March, 1879, Sir Bartle 
Frere, the High Commissioner, visited the Transvaal. 
He was respectfully received, but it was made clear 
to him that a large and increasing number of the 
burghers were as much opposed to British rule as 
ever. Later in the year Sir Garnet Wolseley, who 
was now High Commissioner, also visited the Trans- 
vaal and issued a proclamation stating definitely that 
retrtx'cssion wius not to be even considered. The 
burghers now began holding meetings, at which they 
declared that they would not acknowledge the Queen's 
authority. Certain prominent men were arrested, but 
were soon afterwards libei*ated. A Legislative Assembly 
was constituted. This step was received with bitter 
laughter. The Legislatiu-e was to consist of a number 

2 22 A History of South Africa 

of officials, between whom and the people no sympathy- 
existed, and six nominated members. 

British Conquest of the Bapedi. — The Bapedi tribe 
remained as recalcitrant under British as it had been 
under Republican rule. Sikukuni desired to emulate 
Moshesh — to fovmd a powerful state among the moun- 
tains surrounding his stronghold. In October, 1878, 
a force of eighteen hundred men was despatched 
against him — only to retire baffled. Next year the 
attack was renewed ; this time with the assistance of 
a contingent of five thousand Swazis. After desperate 
fighting and great slaughter, the stronghold fell on 
November 28. Sir Garnet Wolseley personally com- 
manded the attacking force. 

The Paardekraal Meeting. — A mass meeting of the 
burghers was held at Paardekraal early in December. 
An administrative triumvirate, consisting of Messrs. 
Kruger, Joubert, and Pretorius, was formed, and a 
proclamation issued re-establishing the Republic. On 
December 16 — " Dingaan's Day " — the flag of the Re- 
public was hoisted. 

The War of Independence. — Majuba.— Four days 
afterwards hostilities began. A detachment of the 
91th regiment marching from Middelburg towards 
Pretoria was attacked at Brohkhorst Spruit. Within 
a few minutes more than one hundred and fifty officers 
and men were shot down ; the remainder surrendered. 
The Loyalists at Pretoria and the other principal 
towns went into laager. General Sir George Colley, 
who was now Lieutenant-Governor and Commander- 
in-Chief of Natal, advanced towards the Transvaal 
with a relief force of one thousand men. He was met 
by the burghers at Laing's Nek, in Natal territory, 
and defeated. Shortly afterwards Sir George Colley 
moved with a detatchment to the heights above the 
Ingogo River. Here another engagement took place, 
resulting again in a defeat of the British. Sir Evelyn 
Wood arrived with reinforcements. On the evening 
of February 26 Sir George Colley advanced with a 
force of some six hundred men, for the purpose of 
occupying Majuba Mountain. Leaving about two 
hundred men at two respective posts, he took posses- 
sion of the summit of the mountain with a force four 
hundred strong. The Boer position was at Laing's 

The South African Republic 223 

Nek, which was coinmaiided by Majiiba. BeHeving 
that tht« British possessed artillery, the Boers prepared 
to retire. Then General Joul^ert, who was in eom- 
inand, ealled for volunteei*s to storm the mountain. 
The assault was successful ; the burghers, accustomed 
t^) the hunting-field, proceeded skilfully from cover to 
• over, and soon the British found themselves under a 
deadly fire. They were driven from the mountain with 
a loss of ninety-two killed and one hundred and thirty- 
four wounded. Sir George Colley was among the slain. . 
The towns which were besieged — with the exception 
of Potchefstroom — held out to the close of the war. 
In the meantime heavy reinforcements were poured 
ifi until there were ten thousand soldiers in Natal. 

The Transvaal again Self-governing. — Acting under 
instructions from the British Government, Sir Evelyn 
Wood entered into an armistice which, on March 22, 
1881, was followed by a Treaty of Peace. The Trans- 
vaal was given complete self-government in regard to 
internal affairs, under the Queen's suzerainty. A 
British Resident was ai)pointed to Pretoria. 

The London Convention. — The London Convention, 
entered into on February 27, 1884, modified the Treaty. 
In terms of this Convention the Republic bound itself 
not to extend its borders, to allow freedom in all 
respects to persons who were not Natives, and to 
conclude no treaty with any power except the Orange 
Free State, without the sanction of the British Govern- 
ment. Irresixjctive of these limitations the Republic 
was to be a sovereign state. 

In 1890 railway communication w^as opened with 
Delagoa Bay, and in 1893 Swaziland, with the consent 
of Great Britain, was annexed to the Republic. 

(To 1902) 

The South African Republic 

Further Gold Discoveries. — Barberton. —The Witwaters- 
rand. — In 1884 gold was discovered in the Kaap Valley 
on the western border of Swaziland. A large number 
of diggers poured in and the town of Barberton was 
founded. In 1885 occurred a far more important gold 
discovery. On the Wit water srand, the high watershed 
of the Transvaal, about twenty miles south of Pretoria, 
gold was found to exist in the banket formations, 
which extended over a considerable area. 

Johannesburg. — Enormous Gold Output. — There was 
soon a large population scattered over the Rand, and 
the city of Johannesburg sprang suddenly into exist- 
ence. Dviring 1887 gold to the amount of £81,045 was 
extracted. By 1909 the annual output had increased to 
about thirty millions and the value of the total gold 
which had been extracted at the Rand was £258,000,000. 

The Franchise raised. — The resulting influx of an 
enormous cosmopolitan population tended to disturb 
the equilibrium of the State. The majority of the 
Boers regarded with dread the possibility of the 
destinies of the country falling into alien hands. In 
1881 persons who had resided in the Transvaal for a 
year might obtain the franchise. In 1882 this period 
was raised to five years, and in 1890 to fourteen 

President Kruger's Determination. — The " Uit- 
landers." — President Kruger, a man of great ability 
but little education, was firm as a rock against all 
attempts towards giving the newcomers a voice in the 
Government of the Republic. He and his followers 
Avere determined that the country they had won with 

The South African Republic 225 

their rifles should not pass from their control. They 
arKued that as the strangers, or " Uitlanders," as they 
were termed, liad come for gold, and as many of them 
had become rich, they should be satisfied. If they 
were not, the door was open for them to leave ; but in 
any case no interference with the laws of the country 
on their part would be tolerated. 

Their Grievances. — The " Uitlanders' " case was to the 
effect that although they provided about seven-eighths 
of the revenue of the State they were debarred from 
exercising the ordinary rights of communal civilisation ; 
that they were misgoverned, and subjected to irritating 
restrictions ; that monopolies bore heavily up>on them. 
One of these which gave to a certain firm the sole right 
to manufacture dynamite cost the community £600,000 
per annum, more than if it had been purchased in the 
open market, and the dynamite supplied w^as of an 
inferior quality. Moreover, they were liable to be 
commandeered for military service against Native 
tribes. This actually happened in a campaign against 
Malaboch. There is no question but that the mining 
community on the Rand had many and serious 
grievances. Among the Transvaal burghers a strong 
party in favour of reform had come into existence. 

The Reform Committee. — The Jameson Raid. — In 1895 
an association called " The Transvaal Reform Com- 
mittee" was formed. Arms and ammunition were 
imported, and a plot was entered into, having for its 
object the seizure of the fort and ai'senal at Pretoria. 
With the concurrence of Mr. Cecil John Rhodes, Prime 
Minister of the Cape Colony, Doctor Jameson, Admini- 
strator of Rhodesia, assembled a force of about five 
hundred p)olice with six maxim guns in the vicinity of 
Mafeking, close to the Transvaal border. With this 
force he entered Transvaal territory on the night of 
December 29, and made for Johannesburg. Attempts 
were made to recall him, but these he disregai*ded. On 
January 1, he was met by a burgher commando which 
surrounded and defeated him. The whole force sur- 
rendered. The prisoners were marched to Pretoria, 
whence they were sent to the Natal border, where 
they were handed over to be dealt with by the British 
Government. In the meantime the members of the 
Reform Committee, sixty-foiu* in number, were arrested 


2 26 A History of South Africa 

and put in prison. This Committee had taken 
possession of Johannesburg upon hearing that Dr. 
Jameson had crossed the border. The four leaders 
were sentenced to death, but this sentence was shortly 
afterwards commuted. The rest of the accused were 
all found guilty and sentenced to heavy fines and terms 
of imprisonment, which, however, were soon commuted. 

Its Results. — The result of the Jameson raid was 
deplorable. The large and growing party in the State 
which had hitherto been strongly in favour of reform, 
now stood confounded. The administration prepared 
for the contingency of war by extensive armaments. 

Sir Alfred Milner as High Commissioner.— The Great 
Petition. — Sir Hercules Robinson, who had been raised 
to the peerage as Lord Rosmead, retired in 1897, and 
was succeeded as High Commissioner by Sir Alfred 
Milner. The question of the grievances of the " Uit- 
landers " assumed a very acute form. A petition 
praying for Great Britain's intervention was signed 
by 21,000 people. Sir Alfred Milner expressed himself 
as strongly in favour of such intervention. A con- 
ference between the High Commissioner and President 
Kruger took place at Bloemfontein. It lasted from 
May 31 to June 5, 1899, but was barren of result. The 
discussion centred around the question of the fran- 

The Ultimatum. — Early in October the Transvaal 
State Secretary transmitted a note stating that the 
Republic regarded the concentration of British troops 
close to its border in Natal as a threat against its 
♦ independence, and demanded that they should be 
instantly withdrawn. Moreover, guarantees were 
asked for to the effect that certain troops then on the 
high seas should not be landed in South Africa. 
Further, the assurance was required that all points of 
difference should be adjusted by arbitration or other 
friendly means. The Secretary of State refused to 
discuss the conditions of this ultimatum. It was clear 
that the Orange Free State was determined to abide 
by the terms of the offensive and defensive alliance 
with its northern neighbour. So on October 12, 
burghers from the Transvaal entered Natal territory 
and burghers from the Free State entered the Cape 
Colony. The Great Boer War had begun. 

The South African Republic 227 

The Great Boer War.— The Treaty of Yereeniging. — 

The conflict which resulted la.sted for nearly three 
years. It is not proix>sed to enter into the details of 
that struggle, which ended in a complete victory for 
Great Britain. There was terrible loss of life and 
destruction of property. The Treaty of Peace was 
signed at Vereeniging on May 31, 1902. According to 
its terms the two Republics became British territory. 
At the close of the long discussion between the 
delegates, Vice-President Schalk Burger spoke the 
following memorable words : — 

" We are standing here at the grave of the two 
Republics ; much yet remains to be done, although we 
shall not be able to do it in the official capacities which 
we formerly occupied. Let us not draw our hands 
back from the work which it is our duty to accomplish. 
Let us ask God to guide us and to show us how we 
shall be enabled to keep our nation together. We 
must be ready to forgive and forget whenever we meet 
our brethren ; that part of our nation which has proved 
unfaithful we must not reject." 

In his farewell address to the troops, Lord Kitchener 
said : — 

"No war has ever yet been waged in which the 
combatants and non-combatants on either side have 
shown so much consideration and kindness to one 


(To 1848) 


The First Englishmen in Natal. — The first Englishmen 
who set foot in Natal were some sailors from a vessel 
called the Johanna, wrecked near Delagoa Bay in 1683. 
These, carrying merchandise salved from the wreck, 
endeavoured to walk to Cape Town along the coast. 
They were treated with great kindness by the Natives. 
Another English vessel, the Francis, touched on the 
Natal coast in 1684, and traded with the Natives for 
ivory. Endeavours were made to purchase slaves, but 
without success. Other slavers attempted to further 
their horrible trade from time to time ; but the Natives 
invariably refused to have any dealings with them. 

Wreck of the " Stayenisse."— In 1686, a Dutch East 
Indiaman, the Stavenisse, was wrecked on the coast 
of Natal. The shipwrecked crew met two Englishmen, 
who were living on the shores of the Bay of Natal. 
These were survivors from a vessel named the Good 
Hope, which had been wrecked the previous year. 
The men from the Stavenisse felled timber at the Bay 
and built a boat. They were joined by nine English- 
men survivors from a vessel called the Bonaventura, 
which had been wrecked near St. Lucia Bay. Upon the 
boat being completed a voyage of twelve days brought 
the adventurers safely to Cape Town, where they re- 
lated their adventures to Commander van der Stel. 

Early Traders in the Bay of Natal.— Three years 
later the galliot Noord was despatched to the Bay of 
Natal, which, with the land adjoining, Avas purchased 
from the local native chief for fifty pounds' worth of 
beads and copper rings. But the entrance to the bay 
was so dangerous to navigation that no settlement 

Natal 229 

was established. Fifteen years later another Dutch 
trading vessel called, but the chief who had sold the 
t<;rritory was now dead, and his son repudiated the 
bargain. In 1824 a number of Englishmen established 
themselves at Port Natal for the puriK)se of open- 
ing up trade. They were under the leadership of 
Lieutenant Francis George Farewell, Mr. Henry Fynn, 
and Mr. James Saunders King. 

Their Relations with the Zulu King. — Communica- 
tions were opened with Tshaka, the Zulu king, who 
ceded the Bay of Natal, — including twenty-five miles 
of coast and extending for a hundred miles inland, — to 
the adventurers. Most of the members of the expedi- 
tion returned to Cape Town, until at length, besides 
Messrs. Farewell and Fynn, the only remaining Euro- 
peans were John Cane, Henry Ogle, and a boy named 
Thomas Halstead. A number of Natives in the 
vicinity placed themselves under the protection of 
the Europeans, whose following was augmented by 
some i-efugees from Zululand. Later the party was 
joined by other Europeans, including a man named 
Nathaniel Isaacs, who travelled extensively in Zululand, 
and came into intimate contact with Tshaka. 

The relations between the English adventurers 
at the Bay of Natal and the Emigrant Farmers are 
referred to in another chapter. 

The Republic of Natal. — The young Republic of 
Natal was laiuiched on what was destined to be but 
a short voyage. It was divided into three districts, 
named Pietermaritzburg, Weenen, and Port Natal. 
The township at the Bay had been given the name 
of Durban in 1835. Burghers who had settled in the 
country before 1840 were entitled to farms and erven 
free. The public revenue was derived from customs 
and port dues, a very light quit-rent, a transfer duty 
upon the purchase price of land, and fines collected 
in Court. The Civil List was the smallest probably 
on record ; it did not amount to £500. 

The Reverend Daniel Lindley. — The only minister 
of religion was the Reverend Daniel Lindley, an 
American missionary who had formerly lived in 
Natal, but had been obliged to flee in the Comet 
when Dingaan sacked the settlement at the Bay of 
Natal. He resiileil at Pietermaritzburg, and arranged 

230 A History of South Africa 

to hold periodical services, not alone at Durban and 
Weenen, but also beyond the Drakensberg at Win- 
burg and Potchefstroom. Mr. Lindley is still held in 
affectionate remembrance. 

The Volksraad, which numbered twenty-four 
members, met four times a year. The members 
were elected by a kind of ballot, the voting papers 
being transmitted through the field cornets. Theo- 
retically the Volksraad was the supreme executive, 
but its decisions were subject to alteration by vote 
at a public meeting. This system had confusing 
results, for a decision arrived at one day was often 
reversed the next. Moreover, the Courts were practi- 
cally without power to enforce their judgments or 

Commandant Potgieter had in the meantime 
established an independent government of a some- 
what similar character in the Mooi River Territory 
in the Transvaal. Between the two communities 
some indefinite bond existed. At Potchefstroom a 
body which consisted of twelve members was created ; 
it was termed the Adjunct Raad. The members of 
this body, while exercising independent control west 
of the Drakensberg, had the right to sit with the 
Volksraad at Maritzburg, when matters affecting the 
general interests of the Emigrant Farmers were under 

The Emigrant Farmers attack the Amabaca. — In 
September, 1840, the President of the Volksraad wrote 
* to the Governor of the Cape Colony, requesting that 
the independence of the Republic might be acknow- 
ledged. The Governor replied asking for further in- 
formation, and the Volksraad drafted a reply defining 
and explaining the position which the new state pro- 
posed to assume. In the mean time thefts of cattle 
had taken place, and the spoor of some animals was 
traced south-westward to the rugged country border- 
ing the Umzimvubu. This region was occupied by a 
section of the Baca tribe under Ncapayi. A force of 
two hundred and sixty men was despatched to attack 
these people. The more moderate section of the 
Volksraad opposed this movement, fearing that it 
would be resented by the British Government. In the 
attack which followed it was stated that twenty-six 

Natal 231 

men, ten women, and four children of the Bacas 
were killed. Some three thousand head of cattle were 
carried away. The Boers were assisted by some 
Native auxiliaries, who also swept away a quantity of 
stock, besides women and children. The latter the 
Farmers caused to be liberated ; but seventeen children, 
whose parents had been killed, were removed by the 
Farmers for the purpose of being apprenticed. 

Action of Faku.— Between the Amabaca and the 
Pondos a bitter feud existed. However, Faku, the 
Pondo chief, now became apprehensive as to his own 
safety, so he communicated his fears to Sir George 
Napier, Governor of Cape Colony, and asked to be taken 
under British protection. The document containing 
the recjuest bore the signatures of three European mis- 
sionaries. It was this raid which decided the Governor 
to reoccupy Port Natal, so a force was despatched from 
King William's Town to protect Faku. It encamped 
on the Umgazi River in Western Pondoland. 

Sip George Napier refuses to recognise the Republic. 
— The Emigrant Farmers still regarded as British 
Subjects.^ — The Imperial Government did not wish to 
enlarge its responsibilities in South Africa, but it was 
believed that if a garrison were stationed at Port 
Natal the Emigrant Farmers might be induced to 
return to the Cape Colony. In September the Pre- 
sident of the Volksraad was informed that the inde- 
pendence of the Republic could not be acknowledged, 
and the communication foreshadowed the despatch of 
a military force to Port Natal. The President of the 
Volksraad replied to the effect that the Emigrant 
Farmers declined to consider themselves as British 
subjects and refused to receive a military force, as 
they had not asked for it, and had no need of it for 
their protection. 

A British Force lands at Durban. — On April 1, 1842, 
a force consisting of two hundred and sixty-three men 
with a howitzer and two light field pieces, and a 
considerable wagon train, left the Umgazi camp for 
Durban. It was commanded by Captain Thomas 
Smith of the 27th Regiment. Thirty-three days later 
this force reached its destination. At the Bay of Natal 
it was met by two of the Farmers with a written pro- 
test from the Volksi*aad. Next day another deputation 

232 A History of South Africa 

arrived and informed Captain Smith that the Republic 
was in treaty with and under the protection of Holland. 
This strange misconception was due to the action of a 
private association which had been formed in Holland 
for the purpose of trading with Natal, and which had 
published and circulated privately a pamphlet appeal- 
ing strongly to the sympathy of the people of the 
Netherlands towards their distant compatriots. The 
movement was disavowed by the Dutch Government. 
HoAvever, the statement made by the Farmers was 
believed by them to be triie. 

Attack by the Emigrant Farmers. — In the meantime 
the Farmers mobilised and assembled at Kongella, a 
few miles from the Bay, under Commandant-General 
Pretorius, with whom Captain Smith held a parley. 
The first act of definite hostility occurred on May 23, 
when a large number of the transport cattle belonging 
to the British force were seized by the Farmers. That 
night Captain Smith led forth a party to attack the 
Boers. It consisted of about one hundred and forty 
men with two guns. This attack was a complete 
failure. Sixteen of the British force were killed, 
thirty-one were wounded, and three were reported as 
missing. Both guns were captured. The wounded men 
were well cared for by the Boers, and sent back next 
day to the British lines. The camp was noAV placed in 
a state of defence. 

Richard King's Ride.— The Siege.— Mr. Richard 
King, one of the residents of Durban, managed to 
penetrate the Farmers' lines with two horses, and rode 
to Grahamstown, a distance of six hundred miles, in 
ten days. Intelligence as to the plight of Durban Avas 
thus conveyed to the military authorities. The British 
camp was closely invested. Two small vessels — the 
Pilot and the Mazeppa — which had come from Port 
Elizabeth with stores and merchandise, were seized. 
A British outpost at the Point was captured, together 
with an eighteen-pounder gun, and a quantity of 
stores and ammunition. A truce was agreed upon 
until May 31. On that day the camp was invested 
and a bombardment began. The artillery used by the 
Farmers included the guns they had captured. The 
bombardment, however, did not have very much 
effect. By arrangement the women and children were 

Natal 233 

I ('moved for safety to the Mazeppa. Food became 
\ cry sea ice. 

The British Relieving Force. Retirement of the 
Emigrant Farmers. On Juue 20 the garrison was 
iclieved by a force under Colonel Cloete, conveyed by 
tlie frigate Soiithunipton and a chartered schooner — 
the Conch. After making but slight further resistance, 
the Farmei's retired. During the most strenuous days 
of the siege Captain Smith requested Panda to send 
assistance, but Panda refused to interfere, saying that 
whoever won in the struggle should be his master. 
Colonel Cloete called upon the Natives in the vicinity 
of Durban to bring in what horses and cattle they 
could collect ; but they interpreted this as giving them 
a licence to plunder, so they began to loot the Farmers. 
Three of the latter were murdered. 

Commissioner Cloete meets the Yolksraad at 
Maritzburg. The Emigrant Farmers now retired to 
Maritzburg, Avhere a stormy meeting of the Volksraad 
took place. Many of the people returned to their 
farms. Colonel Cloete accepted an invitation to visit 
Maritzburg under a safe conduct. Half the members 
of the Volksraad had disappeared ; the remaining half 
signed conditions providing for the release of prisoners 
and the restitution of property that had been seized or 
captured, and embodying a declaration of submission 
to the British Crown. Colonel Cloete returned to 
Cape ToAvn, leaving a small body of troops at Port 
Natal under Major Smith. 

Affairs in Natal were now" in a very anomalous con- 
dition ; the British Government was still much averse 
to increasing its territorial responsibilities. Further 
efforts were made towards inducing the Emigrants to 
return to the Cape Colony. The Governor was in- 
structed to withdraw the force from the Bay and to 
prevent supplies being landed there. On his own 
responsibility the Governor decided not to act upon 
these instructions. The Seci*etary of State then 
directed the Governor to send a Commissioner to Natal 
to deal with matters there. Three main conditions 
were to be embodied in any settlement that might be 
arrived at. These weve >— 

(1) Equality in the eye of the law of all persons, 
irrespective of creed or colour. 

234 A History of South Africa 

(2) That there should be no aggression upon Natives 

except under the authority of Government, 
* and 

(3) That there was to be no slavery. 

Resolution of the Women. — Advocate Henry Cloete 
was appointed Commissioner. He held a meeting with 
the Emigrants at Maritzburg on June 9, 1843, with an 
indeterminate result. Various other meetings were 
held. Several armed parties arrived from beyond the 
Drakensberg ; one under Commandant Mocke, numbered 
two hundred. There was much dissension among the 
Farmers. A new and enlarged Volksraad was elected. 
A mass meeting of women was held, at which it was 
unanimously resolved that rather than submit to 
British rule they would walk barefoot over the 
Drakensberg — that they would have liberty or death. 
At this meeting the women affirmed that : " In con- 
sideration of the battles in which they had been en- 
gaged with their husbands, they had obtained a promise 
that they would be entitled to a voice in all matters 
concerning the state of the country." 

The Yolksraad accepts the British Conditions. — 
Eventually on August 8, the Volksraad decided to 
accept the British conditions. Next day the Farmers 
from beyond the Drakensberg withdrew, bitterly in- 

• dignant with those who, in their opinion, had betrayed 
the cause of liberty by submission. These views were 
shared by many who remained behind, and it was found 
necessary to bring troops to Maritzburg for the pro- 
tection of those who favoured the surrender. 

Many of the Emigrants recross the Drakensberg. 
— Natal a Dependency of the Cape Colony. — A large 
number of the Emigrants now abandoned their farms 
and recrossed the Drakensberg. By the end of 1843 
there were only three hundred and sixty -five families 
left. In 1844 the form of Government for Natal was 
settled. The territory was to be a dependency of the 
Cape Colony, but separate for executive, judicial, and 

• financial purposes, and was to be administered by a 
Lieutenant-Governor. In August, 1845, the boundaries 
of Natal were defined by proclamation. They were 
the Tugela and Umzinyati Bivers, the south-eastern 
base of the Drakensberg, and the Umzimkulu River. 
A further proclamation was issued stating that it was 

Natal 235 

not to be understood that the Queen's authority over 
her subjects residing beyond tlie proclaimed limits had 
lieen renounced. The Roman Dutch Law was made 
the fundamental law of Natal. In November Mr. 
Martin Thomas West, who had been Civil Commis- 
sioner of Albany, was apix)inted provisionally as 
Lieutenant-Governor. At the same time Advocate 
Henry Cloete was appointed Recorder; Mr. Donald 
Moodie, Secretary to the Government; Mr. Walter 
Harding, Crown Prosecuter ; and Mr. Theophilus Shep- 
stone, Diplomatic Agent for the Natives. An Execu- 
tive Council, to consist of the Senior Military Officer, 
the Secretary to the Government, the Surveyor-General, 
the Collector of Customs, and the Crown Prosecutor, 
was appointed. These officers arrived on December 4, 
1845, when the administration of Natal as a British 
colony commenced. 

Influx of Zulus. — In 1843 occurred an enormous 
influx of Zulus from across the Tugela. Panda had put 
one of his brothers and the latter' s wives and children 
to death in a very cruel manner. Within a few days 
some 50,000 people had crossed the border, seeking 
safety. Panda demanded that these people should be 
sent back, but the demand was refused by Major Smith. 
The fugitives wandered hither and thither as they 
listed, not respecting any boundaries. The Emigrant 
Farmers desired to call out a commando against them, 
but this Major Smith refused to permit. 

Their Lawless Conduct. — Despair of the Farmers. — 
The Natives, realising the unsatisfactory relations 
existing between the British authorities and the Emi- 
grant Farmers, became defiant and took to looting. 
The Farmers were obliged to go into laager. Steps 
were taken to demarcate locations in which the 
intruders might settle. Much confusion was caused 
through many of the sites which had been selected for 
occupation by Europeans being included within such 
locations. The Farmers were now almost in despair ; 
they ])repared to abandon the country, but before 
ttiking the final step decided to despatch a delegate to 
interview the Governor of the Cape Colony on their 
behalf. Mr. A. W. J. Pretorius was chosen. On his 
way he was joined by a delegate from Winburg, wliere 
the people also had grievances to ventilate. The 

236 A History of South Africa 

delegates reached Grahamstown where the Governor 
was staying, but he was too bvisy to receive them. 
Pretorius pubHshed an account of the grievances of 
the people in Natal. On his way back he met with 
much sympathy from the Farmers in the districts he 
traversed. The effect of his relation of what had 
taken place was such that a further considerable 
number of people left the Caj^e Colony for the north. 
When Pretorius reached Natal he found the people 
fleeing from their homes, unable to withstand the 
'depredations of the Natives — depredations which they 
had been forbidden to resist. He found his wife lying 
ill in a wagon on the road ; his youngest daughter was 
leading the team of oxen. 

Yisit of Sir Harry Smith. — The Farmers assembled 
at the foot of the Drakensberg and made preparations 
to cross the range. Just then Sir Harry Smith became 
Governor ; he sent a message to Mr. Pretorius suggest- 
ing that the movement should be delayed pending the 
visit which he intended to make. The Governor arrived 
at the Farmers' camp at the beginning of February, 
1848, and was enthusiastically welcomed. Many of the 
Farmers had fought under him in the Kaffir wars of 
former days, and both liked and respected him. In his 
despatch to the Secretary of State the Governor thus 
described the condition of the unhappy people : — 

" They were exposed to a state of misery which I 
have never before seen eqvialled except in Massena's 
Invasion of Portugal, when the whole of the population 
of that part of the seat of war abandoned their homes 
and fled. The scene was truly heartrending." 

Sir Harry Smith persuaded the Farmers to delay 
their departure, promising if possible to adjust their 
grievances. He remained among them several days, 
inquiring into the circumstances of their unhappy 

Appointment of a Land Commission.— Evil Results 
of Land Speculation. — On February 10 the Governor 
issued a proclamation appointing a Land Commission 
to adjust claims. The result of this was that several 
hundred Dutch families settled permanently among 
the upper reaches of the Tugela, the Klip and the 
Sunday Rivers. In this region there were but few 
Natives. Some of the Farmers were granted land in 

Natal 237 

other localities, but they soon l^ecame dissatisfied with 
their surroundings, and retired over the Drakensberg. 
Their land was sold to sijecidators, who soon held large 
tracts. One corporation, the Natal Land and Colonisa- 
tion Company, ae(iuired 250,000 acres of land for the 
ostensible purpose of p)ermitting European colonisation. 
But leasing land to Natives was found to pay well, so 
the tracts became filled with Bantu refugees. Other 
holders of land adopted the same methods, until, to 
(juote Dr. Theal, "Natal became like a huge Bantu 
location with a few centres of European industry in it." 


(To 1899) 


Early Immigration to Natal. — Immigration to Natal 
was at first exceedingly slow. In 1838 thirty-five 
families of German labourers were introduced ; most 
of these became prosperous market gardeners in the 
vicinity of Durban. In 1849 and the succeeding two 
years, about 4500 emigrants arrived from England. 
These included a disproportionate number of men ; 
discontent resulted, and many of them went to 

Business Energy. — Bishop Colenso. — The European 
community in Natal evinced very great energy. In 
business generally Natal developed activities out of pro- 
portion to its meagre European population. Schools 
were established, and churches were founded by different 
religious societies. In 1854 Dr. John William Colenso 
was appointed first bishop of the Church of England. 
He devoted himself largely to missionary work, and 
came to be known among the natives as " Sobantu," or" 
" Father of the People." 

Natal was divided into three large districts — 
Durban, Maritzburg, and Klip River. These were 
sub-divided into counties. Municipal institutions 
were introduced in 1847, and county councils in 1856. 

Natal a Distinct Colony. — The Transport Industry. 
In 1855 Sir George Grey visited Natal and inquired 
into the conditions of the colony. He at once recom- 
mended that a Constitution should be granted. This 
was done the following year under Royal Charter. 
Natal was created a colony distinct from the Cape, 
with a legislative council of sixteen members — twelve 
elective and four official. A considerable trade was 

Natal 239 

oi>enecl up with the Orange Free State and the South 
African Republic, and the conveyance of goods by ox 
wagon inland was found to Ix' *'x< <(Mlingly profitable. 
Xatal early recognised the jjohniial profits of the 
carrying trade, and accordingly constructed good roads 
to and over the Drakensberg Range, bridging the 
principal rivers. 

An Unprecedented Flood. — But in 1868 came a flood 
of unprecedented violence. Some thirteen inches of 
lain fell in less than three days, and most of the 
roads and bridges were destroyed. Sugar cane was 
introduced from Mauritius, and found to thrive on the 
coast lands. 

Trouble in Zululand. — Strife between Cetewayo 
and Umbulazi. — Trouble arose in Zululand ; King 
Panda had become so enormously stout that he was 
no longer able to take any imrt in public affairs. 
Jealousy arose between two of his sons, Cetewayo and 
Umbulazi. The latter was the younger, and it was 
believed that Panda favoured his claims to the succes- 
sion. Umbulazi and his adherents moved to a terri- 
tory assigned to them on the Tugela. Here they were 
attacked by Cetewayo in December, 1856, and defeated 
with terrible slaughter. Umbulazi lost his life. Bodies 
of the slain which had been carried out to sea were 
washed up in large numbers on the beach in the 
vicinity of Durban. After this Cetqwayo's power in 
Zululand was supreme ; he acted as regent for his 
father until the latter's death in 1872. 

In 1860, during the visit of Prince Alfred, the first 
South African railway was opened in Natal. This 
was a line between the Point and Durban, which was 
afterwards extended to the Umgeni. 

Fertility of Coast Lands. — Introduction of Coolies. — 
Along the fertile coast-lands tea, coffee, and arrow- 
root came to be cultivated, in addition to sugar. To 
meet the growing demand for labour indentured 
coolies were introduced from India in 1860. These 
people increased so rapidly as to become a serious 
embarrassment. A census of 1904 startled the Colony 
by the revelation that the Indians in Natal numbered 
1()(),()()(), whilst the Europeans numbered only 97,000. 

The Franchise. — In 1865 a law was passed in terms 
of which Natives were debarred from the franchise 

240 A History of South Africa 

unless they had been exempted from Native law for a 
period of seven years. This amounted to i3ractical 

Death of Panda. — After the death of King Panda 
in 1872, Mr. Shepstone, at the request of the people, 
proceeded to Zululand to instal Cetewayo as his 
successor. On this occasion laws against the indis- 
criminate shedding of blood, and providing that no 
person should be condemned without an open trial, 
were proclaimed. 

Return of Langalibalele. — In 1873 trouble arose 
with the Hlubi tribe, which, under its chief, Langali- 
balele, was located along the upper reaches of the 
Bushman River. Many of the Hlubis had been to 
work at the Diamond Fields, and had there acquired 
firearms. An order was issued by the Natal Govern- 
ment that all such were to be registered. This order 
was not obeyed, so a force was assembled to compel 
compliance. The Hlubis retired through the moun- 
tainous country towards Basutoland. In an attempt 
to stop the retirement a slight engagement took place, 
in which three Carbineers and two Natives attached 
to the Natal Force lost their lives. Langalibalele 
was arrested by the police in Basutoland. The tribe 
was broken up. As a result of the trouble with the 
Hlubis a Native High Court was established, presided 
over by the Governor as supreme chief, and some 
additional magistrates were appointed in the more 
populous native areas. 

Sir Garnet Wolseley. — Railway Extension. — In 
1875 Sir Garnet Wolseley, afterwards Lord Wolseley, 
was sent to Natal to act as Governor. He was in- 
structed by Lord Carnarvon to report on the condition 
of the Natives, and on the relations existing between 
them and the Europeans. In 1876 railway extension 
began in Natal. For this purpose a loan of £1,200,000 
was raised, and the construction of lines along the 
coast to the north-east and the south-west, as well as 
to Maritzburg, was begun. In 1880 the line to Maritz- 
burg was completed. In 1886 communication was 
opened with Ladysmith. 

Cetewayo' s threatening Attitude. — Violation of 
Natal Border by Zulus. — King Cetewayo did not 
observe the new laws promulgated at his coronation. 

Natal 241 

Tlu' old Zulu practices of massacre at the King's mere 
will was recommenced. The Zulu army was organised 
Ncry comi)letely, until it was as i)owerful as it had 
been in tlie days of Tshaka. In addition to si>ears, 

Photo: T. D. Savenacroft.] 


the Zulu soldiers were now armed with muskets 
obtained through Delagoa Bay. A dangeix)us situa- 
tion arose. The Natiil bolder Avas violated, fugitives 
being pursued by armed bodies of Zulus into Natal 
territory. Cetewayo failed to afford satisfaction. 


242 A History of South Africa 

It was not alone Natal that was threatened, for a 
numerous Zulu army was massed upon the Transvaal 
border. It was well knoAvn that the Zulu soldiery 
were keenly desirous of an opportunity of fighting, or, 
as they termed it, " washing their spears." 

The Zulu War.— At the end of 1878 an ultimatum 
was delivered by the High Commissioner. In this the 
surrender of those who had violated the boundary, as 
well as the payment of a fine of cattle, was demanded. 
The Zulu King was also called upon to disband his 
regiments. A force of 6600 Europeans, besides a large 
native contingent, was assembled on the border. No 
satisfactory reply being obtained, a British force in 
three divisions entered Zululand at the expiration of 
the period mentioned in the ultimatum. 

Disaster of Isandhlwana.— Defence of Rorke's Drift. 
— The main column crossed the Tugela at Rorke's 
Drift and advanced to the Isandhlwana Hill, about ten 
miles from the border. From the camp there formed 
Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Glyn moved forward on 
January 22, 1879, on a reconnaissance with a strong 
patrol, leaving the camp in charge of some eight 
hundred Europeans and six hundred Native Levies 
No orders were given to entrench or to construct a 
laager, according to the well-known South African 
practice. The Zulus who were massed in the vicinity 
advanced on the camp, enveloped it and slaughtered 
every soul, with the exception of about forty Euro- 
peans and a few Natives who managed to break 
through the ring. Upon the Natal side of Rorke's 
Drift was a Commissariat and Hospital Post, defended 
by about one hundred Europeans. The Commander, 
Lieutenant Chard, fortunately got news of the disaster 
in time sufficient to enable him to organise a defence. 
A force of about four thousand Zulus advanced to the 
attack. Throughout the whole night desperate at- 
tempts were made to break through the frail ramparts, 
composed principally of biscuit boxes and bags of flour. 
Furious hand-to-hand struggles took place; several 
times it was thought that by sheer weight of numbers 
the savages must prevail. They were, however, beaten 
off with heavy loss. 

Action of Hlobane. — Defeat of Zulus at Kambula. 
— Action of GinginhloYO. — The northern column, under 

Natal 243 

Colonel Woocl and Colonel Buller, with Commandant 
I Meter Uys, were cami)ed at Kambula. Colonel Buller, 
w itli four hundred men, moved out and occupied the 
Illobane Mountain, only to find himself surrounded by 
an immense Zulu army. In cutting their way through 
this, one hundred and twenty men lost their lives. 
Among the slain were Commandant Uys and Colonel 
Weatherley. The former lost his life in a vain 
endeavour to save his young son. Next day a fierce 
attack was made by some twenty thousand Zulus upon 
the Kambula camp. For five hours wave after wave 
of the enemy broke against the defence. Then they 
fled before a cavalry charge, leaving many dead behind. 
The coast column, under Colonel Pearson, was at the 
time besieged at Eshowe by a strong Zulu army. It 
was relieved by Lord Chelmsford, after fighting a 
battle at Ginginhlovo, in which the Zulus were defeated 
with considerable loss. The Fort of Eshowe was then 

Battle of Ulundi. — In the meantime heavy reinforce- 
ments arrived. Sir Garnet Wolseley was appointed 
Commander-in-Chief and High Commissioner. The 
main British force, under the personal command of 
Lord Chelmsford, who had not yet surrendered his 
command to Sir Garnet Wolseley, moved into Zululand 
from the north-west and advanced towards the Royal 
Kraal at Ulundi on the northern bank of the White 
Umfolosi River. The force consisted of some three 
thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry. The 
enemy had massed a large army ; they advanced with 
their usual bravery upon the British square. For 
twenty minutes the Zulus endured being mown down 
by shot and shell ; then they broke and fled, pursued 
by the Lancers for some distance. The King's Kraal 
was burnt. Cetewayo fled into the Ingome forest, 
north of the Black Umfolosi, wliere he was cai)tured. 

Sir Garnet Wolseley supersedes Lord Chelmsford. 
—Subdivision of Zululand.— Sir Garnet Wolseley 
assembled the Zulu chiefs at Ulundi, and announced 
the terms which he decided to impose upon the Zulu 
people. The dynasty of Tshaka was abolished, and the 
country divided into thirteen districts, each to be ruled 
by a chief who was subject to the British Crown. 
Among the chiefs thus appointed was John Dunn, an 

244 A History of South Africa 

Englishman who had spent many years in Zululand. 
This settlement was not successful. 

Strife among the Chiefs. — Return of Cetewayo. — 
The chiefs began to fight with each other, and a con- 
siderable number of Zulus desired that Cetewayo might 
be permitted to return. He had been living at a farm 
in the vicinity of Cape Town, and in 1882 had visited 
England. In January, 1883, he was taken back to 
Zululand and installed once more as King of that 
portion north of the Umhlatuzi River, by Sir Theophilus 

Usibepu. — One of the thirteen chiefs appointed at the 
end of the war was a man called Usibepu, Avho belonged 
to the Zulu Royal House. Between him and Cetewayo 
there existed considerable enmity. Usibepu was i^er- 
mitted to retain his territory. The tract between the 
Umhlatuzi and the Tugela was constituted a reserve 
under a British Commissioner. Here such Zulus as did 
not desire to be subject to Cetewayo were located. 
Cetewayo' s return had unexpected results ; he rapidly 
lost many of his adherents, who joined Usibepu. Soon 
he was obliged to flee to the reserve, where he lived 
under protection of the Resident till 1884, when he 

Dinizulu succeeds Cetewayo. — He calls the Boers to 
his Aid.— The " New Republic."— The " Usutu," as Cete- 
wayo' s adherents were termed, acknowledged his son 
Dinizulu as Chief. War soon broke out between the 
Usutu and the followers of Usibepu. The British 
authorities formally declined to interfere. Dinizulu, 
being defeated, called to his aid a number of Boers from 
the Transvaal under Lucas Meyer. These allies soon 
turned the scale. Usibepu, his followers scattered, fled 
to the reserve for protection, as Cetewayo had done. 
Dinizulu ceded to Lucas Meyer and his followers some 
3000 square miles of territory in the north and north- 
west of Zululand. This tract now became the "NeAV 
Republic " under the Presidency of Lucas Meyer. In 
1886 its independence was recognised by Great Britain ; 
two years later it was merged in the South African 

Zululand annexed. — In 1887 Zululand was, with the 
consent of the people, declared British territory, under 
the Governor of Natal. In 1884 the British Flag had 

Natal 245 

been hoisted over St. Lucia Bay ; this step was under- 
taken with the view of defeating the attempts made on 
the part of Germany to gain a footing on the coast of 
Zuhiland. The Bay had been ceded to Great Britain 
by Panda in 1834. In 1888 Dinizulu and two other 
Zulu chiefs rebelled and were banished to the Island 
of St. Helena. Soon afterwards they were, however, 
ix^rmitted to return. In 1895 Tongaland, lying between • 
the Portuguese possessions and Zululand, was annexed 
by Great Britain. 

Railway Extension. — As soon as the exceeding rich- 
ness of the Witwatersrand Goldfields became an estab- 
lished fact, strenuous efforts were made to extend the 
railway inland from the Port of Durban as rapidly as 
possible. In 1891 communication was opened with 
Charlestown, close to the border. In 1892 a line was 
completed to Harrismith in the Orange Free State. In 
1894 the Volksraad of the South African Republic 
granted permission to the Natal Government to extend 
the line to Johannesburg ; by the end of 1895 this had 
been effected. 

Responsible Government granted.— Responsible 
Government was granted to Natal in 1893. Two 
Chambers were constituted : a Legislative Council, 
consisting of fourteen members nominated by the 
Governor and a Legislative Assembly of forty-two 
elective members. The franchise was based on the 
property qualification of £50 or payment of an annual 
rent of £10, or a salary qualification of £96 per annum. 
The Cabinet was to consist of five members. The first 
Prime Minister was Sir John Robinson. 

Fertility of Natal.— Menacing Problems. — Natal is 
the most fertile of the colonies now forming the South 
African Union, and deserves its name, " The Garden 
Colony." Sugar and coffee production have grown to ' 
very imjKjrtant industries. Natal also possesses valu- 
able coal-mines, fi*om which there is a very large out- 
put. But the enormous and increasing Bantu and 
Coolie elements in its population present problems of 
growing menace. 

(To 1852) 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 

GoYernor Napier. — Major-General George Thomas 
Napier took the oaths as Governor of the Cape Colony 
in January, 1838. He was a brother of the historian 
of the Peninsular War, and a most distinguished 
soldier. He had lost his right arm when leading a 
storming party during the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. 

General Depression. — Scarcity of Labour. — The 
Colony soon afterwards fell into a most depressed con- 
dition ; on December 1, 1838, the period of four years' 
apprenticeship which the slaves had to serve before 
obtaining complete freedom, came to an end. Labour 
was unobtainable ; the liberated slaves, rejoicing in their 
new-found liberty, refused to work. The " Great Trek " 
had drawn away large numbers of the best of the 
European inhabitants ; there had been no correspond- 
ing immigration. 

Decline of the Wine Industry. — The principal 
colonial industry had hitherto been the production of 
wine. This industry had experienced many vicissi- 
tudes. In 1813 a reduction of the duty in England 
gave wine-making such an impetus that ten years later 
there were three million vines bearing, and upwards of 
19,000 leaguers of wine were produced. In 1825 an 
adjustment of the wine duty was made, which was 
unfavourable to the Cape product. From this time 
the industry steadily declined. In 1840 a further 
unfavourable alteration of the duty inflicted a stagger- 
ing blow upon the wine farmers, and through them 
upon the prosperity of the Colony, for it rendered 
further profitable export of Avine impossible. On the 
other hand, the production of merino wool, which was 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 247 

found to be exceedingly remunerative, was rapidly 
i iitTeaHing. The development of this industry gradually 
l)rought back prosperity. 

Epidemios of Measles and Small-poz. — In 1839 an 
epidemic of measles broke out ; this disease had been 
unknown in the colony for upwards of thirty yeai's. 
1 1 spread rapidly among the coloured people. Early in 
the following year sniall-i)ox was introduced through 
the landing of negroes from a captured slaver. This, 
as well as the ei)idemic of measles, caused heavy loss 
of life — more especially among the liberated slaves, who 
had fl(K-ked into the towns and villages. 

Taxation. — Constitution of Municipalities. — At this 
period various alterations in the incidence of taxation 
and reforms in the methods of collecting revenue were 
introduced. In 1836 an Ordinance providing for the 
constitution of municipalities had been promulgated. 

Improved Educational Methods. — An improved 
system of education — its details mainly based upon the 
advice of Sir John Herschel, the Astronomer Royal, 
and Mr. John Fairbairn — was adopted in 1839. Schools 
were divided into two classes, respectively termed 
Elementary and Classical. In 1840 eleven skilled 
teachers were introduced, nearly all of whom seem to 
have been Scotsmen. There were already in existence 
several good private schools. It was usual for the 
farmers to employ private teachers, but the persons 
employed were usually quite unfitted for the work. So 
far the facilities provided for the education of coloured 
children were much better than in the case of the 
children of Europeans. There were upwards of fifty 
missionaries besides a large number of lay teachers, 
male and female, who were exclusively employed in the 
coloured schools. 

Dutch Reformed Church Ordinance. — In 1843 an 
ordinance was i)assed on the lines suggested by a Synod 
of the Dutch Reformed Church, eliminating political 
commissioners from the personnel of such Syiiod, and 
freeing the Church from secular interference in spiritual 
and ecclesiastical matters. 

Construction of Roads. — An important oixiinanee, 
having reference to the ccmstruction and maintenance 
of roads, was ])romulgated. There were three main 
roads piercing the great mouuttiiu barrier lying between 

248 A History of South Africa 

the vicinity of the Cape and the interior. These were 
the old road through the Tulbagh Kloof, the French 
Hoek road — which had been constructed in the days of 
Lord Charles Somerset — and the road over Hottentot's 
Holland, completed in 1830, and named Sir Lowry's 
Pass, after Sir Lowry Cole. In the Eastern Province 
some good roads and bridges had been constructed by 
the military. Under the ordinance a central board of 
road commissioners, as well as divisional boards, were 
constituted. These had the power of levying rates for 
the purposes of construction and maintenance. 

Life of the Colonists. — Genesis of Villages. — The 
life of the South African colonists at this period was 
healthful, simple, and, except in the vicinity of the 
eastern frontier, comparatively free from care. Game 
was plentiful, there was still ample room for expansion, 
and that stress which is such a feature of modern life 
did not as yet exist. Hospitality towards strangers 
was universally practised. Four times each year the 
people assembled around the respective churches for 
the *' Nachtmaal " or celebration of the Lord's Supper. 
At these gatherings, which usually lasted about five 
days, marriages and christenings took place, and much 
business was transacted. Villages rapidly sprang up 
in various parts of the Colony, some very remote. It 
often happened that a well-to-do farmer donated, or, 
in dying, bequeathed a site for a church with surround- 
ing it an area of land sufficient to admit of a village 
being laid out. This land would be surveyed into 
building lots, the price of which formed a fund for the 
construction and endowment of the chvirch. A village 
invariably grew around the church, owing to the well- 
to-do farmers building cottages for their accommodation 
during Nachtmaal time. On the approach of old age 
the management of the farm might be handed over 
to the sons, and then the proprietor Avould quietly 
end his days in the congenial env^ironment created by 
the church, the doctor and a few cronies. Such was 
the genesis of most South African villages. 

Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland. — In March, 1844, 
Sir George Napier resigned and was succeeded as 
Governor by Sir Peregrine Maitland. He likewise was 
a distinguished military officer and had commanded a 
brigade at Waterloo. He had subsequently been 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 249 

I. ieu tenant-Governor of both Upper Canada and Nova 


Satisfactory Financial Condition. — Under the sound 
('(•ononnc inanaK<'ni(Mit of Sir George Napier, the Colony 
had slowly cincr^cd from its depressed condition. The 
public debt had Ixrii almost wholly paid off. For the 
first time in ( api Colonial history, the revenue was 
slightly in excess of the expenditure. A large income 
was being derived from the Guano Islands, off the coast 
of Namaqualand. Grants of public money were made 
towards immigration and some five thousand British 
immigrants were introduced. 

Separation Movement. — The inhabitants of the 
eastern districts had for some time been most anxious 
for a Government of their own, quite unconnected with 
Cape Town and the western districts. In December, 
1845, a strong petition asking for separation was sent 
to the Secretary of State. The petitioners Avere dis- 
satisfied owing to the Lieutenant - Governor having 
only nominal powers. Their i3rayer was, however, 

Economic Development. — The economic development 
of South Africa was very marked at this period. In 
1844 the Colonial Bank with a capital of £100,000, and 
in 1847 the Union Bank with a capital of £150,000, were 
established in Cape Town. In 1847 banks were opened 
in Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, and the Paarl. The 
South African Mutual Life Assurance Society, which 
is still such a flourishing institution, was founded in 

Erection of Lighthouses.— In 1842 the first light- 
house on the South African coast was constructed at 
Mouille Point, Table Bay. In 1845 a revolving light 
was mounted on a hulk moored off the Roman Rock 
in Simon's Bay. Many wrecks hml happened in the 
vicinity of Cape Agulhas, so in 1849 a light appeared 
there. Towards its cost upwards of £17,000 was sub- 
scribetl by the public. The gi-owing trade of Port 
Klizabeth rendered a light on Cajje Recife necessary; 
accordingly a lighthouse was constructed there in 1851. 

In 1847 s(mie of the Cape Town streets were lit by 
gas ; this was efFecte<l by a privates company. In 1846 
the convict station at Robben Island was closwl and 
turned into quarters for the lepers who had hitherto 

250 A History of South Africa 

been maintained at Hemel en Aarde in the Caledon 
district. These unhappy sufferers had been taken 
charge of by the Moravian Missionaries ; now, however, 
the English Episcopal Church undertook their spiritual 

More Trouble with the Natives. — Lord Stanley, who 
was now Secretary of State, having i3ractically given a 
free hand in the matter of dealing with the Natives on 
the frontier to Sir Peregrine Maitland, the latter, in 
1844, proceeded to the Eastern Province, where matters 
were rapidly drifting into a more than ordinarily 
dangerous condition. A farmer named de Lange, one 
of a party pursuing six looters in the Albany district, 
had been killed. Sandile gave up two of the murderers, 
but refused to surrender the other four ; eventually 
the matter was settled by the Chief paying fifty head 
of cattle to de Lange' s widow. The Governor held a 
meeting with certain Bantu chiefs at Fort Peddie. He 
provided the resident there, Mr. Shepstone, with two 
hundred muskets wherewith to arm the Fingos in case 
of attack. At Fort Beaufort he met a number of chiefs 
of the Tembu and Xosa clans, including Sandile and 

Treaties with Chiefs. — Various new treaties Avere 
drawn up and signed. In terms of these certain chiefs 
were granted allowances, subject to good behaviour on 
their part and that of their people. Treaties with 
Kreli the Gcaleka chief, and Faku, chief of the Pondos, 
were also entered into. According to the treaty with 
Kreli, that chief had to protect missionaries and traders, 
to deliver up criminals and to return stolen cattle. For 
so doing he was to be paid £50 per annum. To Faku 
Avas granted the large tracts of country between the 
Umtata and Umzimkulu Rivers, from the Drakensberg 
to the sea. The treaty with Sandile provided that 
forts might be constructed anywhere west of the 
Keiskamma and the Tyume. One was forthwith built 
at the head of the Sheshegu stream on the watershed 
between the Keiskamma and Fish Rivers. 

In November, 1845, as a party of missionaries were 
encamped near Fort Peddie, they were attacked by 
men of the Gunukwebe clan, and one, the Reverend 
Mr. Scholtz, was murdered, together with a Hottentot 
servant. Sandile began to give trouble ; he broke into 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 251 

.1 trader's store and liclpcd liimself to the goods. He 
refused, after having i)reviously given his consent, to 
permit the erection of a fort at Block Drift on the 
Tyume River. His people stole and he protected the 
t liit^ves. It was abundantly evident that another war 
w as very near. The Stockenstrom treaties had failed. 
Since they had been signed there had been one hundred 
and six persons murdered by Natives on the frontier. 
There had, moreover, been innumerable robberies. 
During the same i^eriod not a single act of violence 
liad been brought home to any Colonist. 

The Seventh Kaffir War, or the '* War of the Axe."— 
In March, 1847, the storm burst ; a Native who had been 
arrested at Fort Beaufort for stealing an axe, was being 
escoi*ted to Grahamstown ; he was handcuffed to another 
man. A party of about forty Kaffirs rushed out of the 
bush and rescued the prisoner. They murdered the 
man to whom he was fastened, and cut off the former's 
hands. The Chief of the clan to whom the men who 
effected the rescue belonged, refused to give them up. 
They took refuge with Sandile, who also refused de- 
livery. The Lieutenant-Governor strengthened the 
garrisons of Fort Beaufort and Fort Peddie, and dis- 
tributed arms to those requiring them. The Xosas 
beyond the border soon began plundering the traders 
and, in some cases, the missionaries. Thus began the 
conflict which has ever since been referred to by the 
Natives as ** The War of the Axe." 

Military Mismanagement. — All available troops were 
hurried up from Cape Town. The burghers of the 
eastern districts were called out. The campaign began 
with a serious disaster. Without waiting for sufficient 
reinforcements, and before the burghers had mobilised, 
the Lieutenant-Governor decided upon an advance. A 
convoy of 125 wagons, each drawn by a team of fourteen 
oxen, was sent along a narrow road through broken 
country in single file. The train was three miles long, 
and was quite unprotected except by weak advance- and 
rear-guards. The convoy was attacked by the Xosas 
NN hile passing through a narrow, forestt^d gorge, near 
Burnshill on the Keiskamma ; sixty-nine wagons and 
nearly nine hundred oxen were lost. The enemy now 
overran the Colony as far westward as Uitenhage, 
burning and looting as was their wont. As the Farmers 


A History of South Africa 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 253 

had it'C'tivcd warning, they were in most instiinces able 
i«) draw toKctlier for mutual protection, so not more 
than twelve were cut off and killed. In the first in- 
stance it was believed that only the Gaikas and a clan 
called the Imidange had risen, but it soon became clear 
that from Gcalekaland westward practically all the 
Bantu clans were on the war-path against the white 
man. The only exceptions were the Fingos and two 
minor chins, one under a petty chief named Kama, and 
the other under a man of mixed race named Hermanns. 
It was found that the enemy possessed a large number 
of firearms ; these had been smuggled in by unprincipled 
traders. The difficulties incidental to the campaign were 
enormous. The country Avas suffering from a long and 
severe drought. Not alone had some fourteen thousand 
troops and a large number of wagon-drivers and leaders 
to be fed, but assistance had to be given to u^jwards of 
eight thousand people who had been driven from their 
farms and rendered destitute by the invasion. There 
w^as serious mismanagement evident on the part of the 
military a;Uthorities. At Fort Peddie a considerable 
force was stationed. One afternoon an attack was 
made upon the Fingos at the Mission Station four miles 
away by about a thousand Kaffirs. A column consist- 
ing of infantry, cavalry, and artillery was sent to the 
assistance of the Fingos, but retired without making 
any attack. The Fingos, however, managed to hold 
their own. In i)assing through the Fish River Bush 
near Trompetter's Drift, a convoy of forty-three wagons 
fell into the hands of the enemy. 

In this campaign occurred the only instance in which 
British cavalry had the opportunity of engaging Natives 
in the open. Some six hundred Xosas were encountei*ed 
in the shallow Gwanga Valley a few miles from Fort 
Peddie. The enemy were completely cut up, about two- 
thirds of their number being killed or wounded. 

Threatened Starvation. — The difficulties of transixjrt 
owing to the drought were somewhat reduced thi'ough 
a landing-place being found at the mouth of the Fish 
River. Sir Andries Stockenstrom was appointed Com- 
mandant of the Eastern Province burghers and did 
excellent work. Strong mutual resentment arose be- 
tween the burghers and the i*egular foi*ces. The di'ought 
was so severe that had it not been that pi-ovisions were 

254 A History of South Africa 

landed on the coast starvation must have ensued. 
Horses died in large numbers ; when burghers were 
disbanded they often had to return to their homes on 

From time to time Sandile, Kreli, and other chiefs 
expressed a desire for peace, but it was afterwards 
clear that in so doing they merely wished to gain time. 
Sandile agreed to restore twenty thousand head of cattle 
and give up his arms. He surrendered the stealer of 
the axe whose rescue had caused the war, and a number 
of his people handed in muskets and assegais of inferior 
quality ; but the cattle were not delivered. Thus a 
kind of truce was called, which was of far more use to 
the enemy than to the colonists, for it gave the former 
the opportunity of reaping their crops and re-organising 
their plan of action. 

Submission of KaflSr Chiefs.— A system of patrolling 
was afterwards undertaken ; this gave the enemy no 
rest. There were soon signs that the Kaffirs were get- 
ting weary of the struggle. In October Sandile with 
his brother Anta, his councillors, and a number of fol- 
lowers, surrendered. They were sent to Grahamstown, 
and there detained as prisoners of war. Previous 
to Sandile's surrender a few of the minor chiefs had 

GoYernor Sir Henry Pottinger. — In January, 1847, 
Sir Peregrine Maitland was retired on account of his 
advanced age. He was succeeded by Sir Henry Pot- 
tinger, an officer in the East India Company's service, 
who was also appointed "High Commissioner for the 
settling and adjustment of the Affairs of the Terri- 
tories in Southern Africa adjacent or contiguous to the 
eastern and north-eastern frontier of the Colony." The 
Governor proceeded at once to the frontier, and raised 
a number of volunteers. The war dragged on with 
varying fortune ; troops were landed at the mouth of 
the Buffalo, the site of the present port of East London, 
and a chain of forts reaching from there to King 
William's Town was constructed. 

Governor Sir Harry Smith. — Towards the end of 
1847 General Sir Henry George Wakelyn Smith super- 
seded Sir Henry Pottinger as Governor and High Com- 
missioner. Sir Harry Smith was well known in the 
Colony; he had been in command of the Province of 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 255 

Queen Adelaide wlien siieh was constituted under Sir 
Benjamin D' Urban. Owing to Lord Glenelg's influence 
he had been removed from South Africa. In the 
interim he liad distinguished himself highly in India. 
It was Sir Harry Smith who conquered the Sikhs at 
the Battle of Aliwal In 1846. He was received by the 
inhabitants of Cape Town with every possible demon- 
stration of joy. Eleven days after his arrival the new 
Governor proceeded by sea to Algoa Bay and thence to 

Extension of Eastern Boundary. — He at once pro- 
claimed a new boundary for the Colony ; this was from 
the mouth of the Keiskamma River to its junction 
with the Tyume, along the Tyume to its source, thence 
along the summit of the Katberg Range to Gaika's 
Kop ; thence to the nearest source of the Klip Plaats 
River, along the latter to its junction with the Zwart 
Kei, along the Zwart Kei to its junction with the 
Klaas Smits River, along the Klaas Smits River to 
its source in the Stormberg, thence to the source of 
the Kraai River, along the Kraai to its junction with 
the Orange River, and along the Orange River to the 
Atlantic Ocean. 

British Kaffraria.— Shortly after Sir Harry Smith 
reached Grahamstown, Pato, the last chief of any 
importance in arms west of the Kei, surrendered. 
Thereupon the Governor proceeded to King William's 
Town, where he proclaimed the whole of the country 
west of the Kei River, which had been occupied by the 
Rarab^ clans, together with a portion of that occupied 
by the Emigrant Tembus, as being under the Queen's 
sovereignty. The territory was not annexed to Cape 
Colony, but was reserved for the Kafl&rs, of whom the 
High Commissioner was to be Supreme Chief. It was 
named British Kaffraria. 

A Histrionic Function.— A picturesque but some- 
what histrionic function took place. Sandile and Anta 
had been brought from Grahamstown and appeared 
among a large gathering of Native chiefs. The ti*oops 
were drawn up ; the chiefs, with their thousands of 
attendants, were seated in a lai'ge circle. Into this the 
Governor rode in state, followed by his staff, and read 
the proclamation. A sergeant's bkton was produced, 
which was termed "the staff of war," and a white 

256 A History of South Africa 

wand with a brass head, which was termed " the staff 
of peace." The chiefs were called forward and ordered 
to touch which staff they pleased ; each touched the 
staff of peace. They were then addressed at length, 
promised certain benefits on good behaviour, and 
threatened with penalties if they misconducted them- 
selves. After this they were called upon to kiss the 
Governor's foot, as a sign of submission. Sir Harry 
Smith then shook hands with the chiefs, referred to 
them as his " children," and presented a herd of oxen 
as materials for a feast to them and their followers. 
After this arrangements were made for the govern- 
ment of the new province ; Lieutenant-Colonel George 
McKinnon was appointed Commandant and Chief Com- 
missioner with a corps of native police officered by 

Imposition of Impossible Conditions. — A strong 
military force occupying eight separate strategic posi- 
tions was left as a garrison. These arrangements being 
concluded, another meeting of the chiefs was convened 
for January 7, 1848. A schedule of conditions was 
drawn up ; to these all the chiefs had to swear obe- 
dience. Nine out of the eleven conditions were the 
ordinary ones referring to obedience to the law and 
general preservation of order; but there were two 
which no one with any knowledge of the Natives could 
have expected would have been adhered to. One read 
as follows : " To disbelieve in and cease to tolerate or 
practise witchcraft in any shape." Now the belief in 
witchcraft was very deeply ingrained in the Native 
mind, and could not be eradicated by such simple 
process ; it is not by any means eradicated yet. The 
other proviso read as follows : " To abolish the sin of 
buying wives." The payment of dowry to the father 
of the bride is one of the most deeply rooted of Bantu 
customs ; it is still almost universally practised even 
among the Christian Natives, and any Native woman 
would look upon herself as disgraced if married without 
dowry being paid for her. Such conditions, therefore, 
struck at the very root of Native social life ; those 
who took the oath to observe them could have had no 
intention of doing so. The Governor again addressed 
the chiefs. Once more he called the histrionic to his 
aid ; he pointed to a wagon, which had been prepared 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 257 

for the occasion and which was Htanding some little 
distance away. " Hear me givf the word * Fire ! * " he 
said. At the signal an explosion took place and the 
wagon was smashed to fragments. The chiefs were 
told that a similar catastrophe would happen to them 
if they did not remain faithful. Tearing a sheet of 
paper to pieces and flinging it away, he exclaimed, 
"There go the treaties!" Thus the Seventh Kaffir 
War, otherwise the "War of the Axe," came to an 
end, but the settlement was not destined to be per- 
manent. Within a little more than two years the 
war-cry once more went forth and the frontier was 
again fiercely blazing. 

Dr. Philip. — In the matter of this war there was 
apparently no conflict of opinion ; at all events, none 
was expressed. The Commercial Advei^tiser fell into 
line with the rest of the South African Press on the 
subject. Dr. Philip kept silence ; he was now dwell- 
ing at Hankey, his station on the Gamtoos River. A 
most bitter domestic bereavement fell upon him ; this 
he bore with Christian stoicism, but it was said that 
when he heard that Jan Tshatshu, his former proteg^, 
had joined Pato's murderous gang, Avliieh burned alive 
Fingo old men, women, and children who fell into their 
hands, he completely broke down. Henceforth he 
avoided politics and devoted his energies exclusively 
to missionary work. 

East London founded. — At the end of 1847 the 
village at the mouth of the Buffalo River was given 
the name of East London. Shortly afterwards this 
village and the surrounding ground within a radius of 
two miles was annexed to the Cape Colony. 

The Xosas were much impoverished by the war. A 
large number of them entered the Colony and sought 
service among the farmers. Of the Gaika clan many 
thousands crossed the Kei, seeking food among the 
Gciilekas and Tembus. At the close of 1848 the census 
showed that there were over 62,000 Bantu in the pro- 
vince of British Kaffraria. 

Sir Harry Smith visited King William's Town in 
October, 1848, and held another conference with the 
chiefs and notables, who expressed the most loyal 
sentiments. The Governor was accompanied by Bishop 
Grey, who laid the foundation stone of the present 


258 A History of South Africa 

Trinity Church. He had just been appointed the first 
Anglican Bishop of the Cape. During the previous 
year the Cape Colony, Natal, and the Island of St. 
Helena had been constituted a see, the funds for en- 
dowing which were provided by the Baroness Burdett 
Coutts. The ratification of the annexation of the 
country between the Fish River and the Keiskamma, 
as well as of the creation of the province of British 
Kaffraria, had been received from the Secretary of 
State in the previous March. Ten new magistracies 
were established in the Cape Colony, inclusive of the 
newly annexed territory. The latter was constituted a 
district, under the name of Victoria East, with the 
seat of magistracy at Block Drift, the present site of 

Military Yillages laid out. — It was decided to try 
the experiment of forming villages peopled by military 
settlers along the upper reaches of the Tyume River ; 
accordingly four villages were laid out with garden 
lots and granted to soldiers who were permitted to 
take their discharge. The military force in South 
Africa had now been reduced to 4703 officers and men. 

The " Anti-ConYict " Agitation.— In 1848 occurred 
the celebrated "Anti-Convict" Agitation. An attempt 
was made by Earl Grey to turn the Cape into a penal 
settlement. In 1841 a similar proposal had been 
mooted, but was so forcibly resented that the project 
dropped. In 1842 the proposal was repeated in another 
form ; this also met with local resistance and was 
abandoned. On November 8, 1848, the Governor in- 
formed the Legislative Council of Earl Grey's proposal ; 
immediately there began an agitation for which no 
parallel can be found in the history of South Africa. 
For the time being all class jealousies and racial 
antagonisms passed away. From every part of the 
Cape Colony came forth the expression of a vigorous 
determination to resist the proposed introduction of 
criminals by every possible means. Memorials were 
circulated and signed everywhere; these were de- 
spatched to England. In notifying the proposal the 
Secretary of State had said that the convicts would 
not be sent unless the general opinion in the Colony 
was found to be in favour of the measure. Bvit in 
March, 1849, an announcement, taken over from an 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 259 

English newspaper anrl published in Cape Town, made 
it clear that a shi]) had been des[)atelied to Bermuda 
tor tlie purpose of conveying convicts from there to 
the Cape of Good Hope. It was known in England 
t hat the various farming industries at the Cape were 
suffering severely from laek of labour, and the British 
authorities held the view that convicts would be 
welcomed, to supply the plaee of the liberated slaves. 
Now, however, a document was drawn up and univer- 
sally signed, pledging the signatories not to employ in 
any capacity or receive convicts on any terms, and 
calling upon the Governor to exercise his discretion 
towards preventing the convicts from landing. It was 
known that Sir Harry Smith was personally as much 
averse to the proposal as the Colonists were them- 

On May 19 a meeting of over five thousand men 
was held on the Grand Parade Ground. These unani- 
mously declared themselves opposed to the Secretary 
of State's proposal. A committee with executive 
powers was elected, and the following pledge drafted 
and adopted : — 

" We, the undersigned. Colonists and inhabitants of 
the Cape of Good Hope, hereby solemnly declare and 
pledge our faith to each other that we will not employ 
or knowingly admit into our establishments or houses, 
work with or for, or associate with any convicted felon 
or felons sent to this Colony under sentence of trans- 
portation, and that we will discountenance and drop 
connection with any person who may assist in landing, 
support, or employ such convicted felons." 

A Serious Situation. — On June 15 the Governor 
informed the Legislative Council that he had received 
instructions from the Secretary of State to arrange for 
the reception of the convicts, and that it would be his 
duty to carry out such instructions. He declined to 
take the responsibility of suspending the order. How- 
ever, on July 11 he consented to prevent the convicts 
from landing pending the receipt of further instruc- 
tions. A number of justices of the peace and field 
cornets throughout the country threw up their offices ; 
four unofficial members of the Legislative Council 
resigned their seats. It was impossible to find suitable 
men who would consent to fill the vacancies. Banks 

2 6o A History of South Africa 

and insurance offices issued notices to the effect that 
they would transact no business with any one employ- 
ing a convict. Owners of houses for hire, tradesmen, 
and shopkeepers took similar steps. 

Arrival of the "Neptune." — Early on the morning 
of September 20 the tolling of the church bells and 
the sounding of the fire alarm gong at the Town House 
announced that the convict ship had arrived. This 
was the Neptune, which had cast anchor in Simon's 
Bay. She had 282 convicts on board. The square in 
front of the Town House was filled by an excited 
crowd. The municipal commissioners addressed a per- 
emptory request to the Governor that the Neptune 
might be at once sent away; this step he considered 
himself not authorised to take. Orders were, however, 
given that no one was to be allowed to land from the 
ship. A monster meeting was held, and at it the draft 
of a letter written by the chairman to the Governor 
was approved of. This letter contained the following : 
" The words of the pledge to drop connection with 
any persons who should assist in supporting convicted 
felons, included all departments of the Government by 
or through or under the authority of which supplies of 
any kind might be conveyed to the Neptune, until that 
vessel's destination should be changed." This meant 
the cutting off of all servants of the Crown from the 
Governor downwards, from the source of supply. On 
October 10 twelve persons suspected of furnishing pro- 
visions to certain Government departments were de- 
nounced ; they were at once ostracised. So strict was 
the embargo that an inn at which one of these persons 
was furnished with a meal lost its custom and had to 
be closed. A fund was created through which persons 
adhering to the pledge were indemnified from loss. 
Next day the Association decided that all stores and 
shops should be closed except to known customers, and 
that intercourse with Government should cease. Upon 
this resolution being put into effect the Governor gave 
notice that if necessary he would use force to prevent 
the troops and civil servants from being starved. How- 
ever, he managed to obtain supplies from other sources. 
A certain amount of rioting took place, but a fund was 
subscribed to for the purpose of supplying the unem- 
ployed with food, and tranquillity was restored. Cape 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 261 

Town icinaincd, as it wcic, in a state of suspended 
animation for sonic tliicc months. 

Departure of the Convict Ship. — At length, on 
February 13, 1850, the Governor received instructions 
to despatch the Neptune to Van Diemen's Land, where 
the convicts were to be conditionally liberated. Cape 
Town, and in fact the whole country, broke out into 
jubilation ; the city was illuminated that night, and 
the streets were filled with joyous people. Friday, 
March 8, was observed as a Day of Thanksgiving for 
the deliverance of the country from the threatened 

The Europeans of Cape Colony had been singularly 
free from the grosser forms of crime, and the idea of 
introducing convicted criminals into the comparatively 
small community was abhorrent, in view of the con- 
tamination to the white race which might have been 
expected to occur. But there was even a graver ob- 
jection than this. The slaves and coloured people of 
nondescript race who congregated around most of the 
Western Province villages were in such a condition 
that they would be likely to respond to any influence 
brought to bear upon them. It was felt that the 
mingling of degraded Europeans, the waste product of 
civilisation, with these people would probably have 
deplorable results. As it happened, the convicts on 
board the Neptune were not offenders of the worst 
class ; if criminals at all, they were made so by circum- 
stances. They had been convicted of agrarian outrages 
during the famine caused by the failure of the potato 
crop in Ireland. Among them was John Mitchell, who 
although technically a convict, has left an honourable 
reputation. But their landing would have established 
an iniquitous i)reeedent — one to be avoided at any cost. 

A Lull on the Frontier. — For the two yeai-s follow- 
ing the " War of the Axe " matters in British Kaffraria 
and on the eastern frontier remained smooth on the 
surface. But it is now clear that the j)eace was only 
regarded by the Natives as a truce, and that they 
intended to resume hostilities as soon as they felt 
themselves strong enough to do so. The chiefs, shorn 
of so nuich of their power, had determined to make 
another attempt to throw off the hated yoke of the 
white man. The Gaikas had been left in possession of 

262. A History of South Africa 

the Amatole fastnesses ; the Kaffir police, from whom 
so much had been expected, became (a grave element 
of danger, owing to the knowledge which they had 
acquired of the white man's ways. Strange as it may 
seem, nothing tended to make the Natives detest our 
rule so much as the attempts which were made to 
suppress the atrocities caused by the witch-doctor. In 
spite of the numbers of innocent victims sacrificed by 
these scoundrels, public opinion among the Natives 
was almost universally on their side. In 1850 a prophet 
arose ; his name was Umlanjeni. He claimed the posses- 
sion of magical powers, and that he was able to dis- 
tribute charms which would turn the bullets of the 
white men into water. From far and near the Kaffirs 
who had taken service among the farmers crowded 
back to their respective chiefs. 

The GoYernor deceived. — The Governor strongly 
believed in the permanence of the settlement which 
he had achieved ; up to the latter part of 1850 he con- 
sidered the alarming reports which were communicated 
to him to be unfounded. He proceeded to the frontier 
and sent a notice to the different chiefs inviting them 
to meet him at King William's Town on October 26. 
On the day appointed only a few petty chiefs appeared. 
According to Kaffir custom, the refusal of any chief 
to appear before his suzerain is regarded as being 
equivalent to rebellion. The Governor accordingly 
issued a proclamation deposing Sandile from his 
position as head chief of the Gaikas, and appointing 
Mr. Charles Brownlee, a son of the first missionary 
w^ho had settled at the Tyume, in his place. Mr. 
Brownlee had been born and brought up among the 
Gaikas and was thoroughly familiar with the Native 
tongue. He was a man of great ability and high 
character and upon certain superstitious grounds was 
almost regarded by the Gaikas as one of themselves. 
But being a European it was impossible that he could 
influence a Native tribe the chief of which in the direct 
line was still living. The arrangement was soon found 
to be unworkable, and was abandoned. Then Sutu, 
Sandile' s mother, was appointed Regent with a body 
of councillors to assist her. The Governor returned 
to Cape Town persuaded that there was no cause for 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 263 

The Eighth Kaffir War. — Disaster at the Boomah 
Pass. Om Dt'ct'inlKU' 24, a foluinn of seven hundred 
t KM )i)s, accompanied by a large imrty of Kaffir i)olice, 
pioceeded up the valley of the Keiskamma River. 
The intention was to arrest the deposed chief ; it was 
not thought possible that there would be any resist- 
ance. So firmly was this believed that the soldiers had 
ui'ders not to load their muskets. The patrol entered 
a rugged gorge lying between jungle-covered hills and 
known as the Boomah Pass, the mounted men leading. 
The horsemen were allowed to pass through, then the 
Kaffirs, who were lying in ambush, attacked the in- 
fantry. These fought their way through with a loss 
of twenty-three killed and a like number wounded. 
On the same day a patrol of fifteen men was surprised 
at Debe Nek and destroyed. 

Massacre of the Tyume Settlers. — That night the 
war-cry was wailed from hill to hill, and on every peak 
signal fires were lit. Next morning the Gaikas fell 
upon the villages occupied by military settlers in the 
Tyume. At Woburn every man was killed, likewise at 
Auckland. The women and children were permitted 
to escape ; the villages were burnt down. 

The Governor besieged at Fort Cox. — Sir Harry 
Smith was at this time at Fort Cox, between the 
Buffalo and the Keiskamma, which Avas garrisoned by 
250 of the Cape Mounted Riflemen. The fort was im- 
mediately besieged by a strong force of the enemy. 
Colonel Somerset attempted to relieve the Governor 
from Fort Hare, but was beaten back with heavy loss. 
However, on December 30 the Governor made a dash 
through the investing ring and managed to reach King 
William's Town. A large number of the Kaffir police 
deserted and went over to the enemy with arms, horses, 
and equipment. Of this force, upon whose fidelity 
such hopes had been based, only fifty remained faith- 
ful. Once more the frontier was crossed and the 
border districts overrun ; once more the farmei*s had 
to abandon their farms with the bulk of their property ; 
again the flames of hundreds of burning homesteads 
ascended to the sky. 

Thei*e were certain features in this war which made 
it somewhat different from the previous one. Several 
dans, including some who had fought most fiercely 


A History of South Africa 

against the Europeans, now remained faithful and took 
the field against the rebels. Amongst these were the 

■ 1 


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Gunukwebe and the Ndhlambis. Most of the elans on 
the seaboard either assisted the Europeans or remained 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 265 

neutral. The Tcmbus were divided ; one section, under 
t he Regent Nonesi, moved eastward to the Bashee, so 
MS to keep out of the way ; those under Mapassa raised 
the war-ciy. 

Rebellion of Hottentots. — But on the side of the 
liostile elans a new and formidable enemy appeared, for 
a large number of the Hottentot settlers at the Kat 
River went into rebellion. These were joined by many 
who had received a training in the Cape Mounted 
Rifles, and on discharge had been located at various 
stations such as Theophilus and Shiloh. Moreover, 
many deserted from the regiment and went over to 
the enemy. The leader of the Hottentot rebels was a 
rifleman pensioner named William Uithalder. He was 
a man of some ability and planned to form an inde- 
pendent Hottentot state with himself at its head. 

Attack on Fort Beaufort. — At Blinkwater, near the 
Kat River settlement, lived one Hermanns Matroos, 
the son of a Kaffir woman and an escaped slave. This 
man had a following of Kaffirs and people of mixed 
blood, by whom he Avas regarded as a leader. He had 
been granted land by Government, and his faithfulness 
had never been doubted. On January 7, 1851, he led 
a force to the attack of Fort Beaufort ; the attack was 
beaten off. Hermanns and fifty of his followers were 

Storming of Fort Armstrong. — The Kat River Hot- 
tentot insurgents took possession of Fort Armstrong. 
This was attacked and taken by Major-General Somerset 
after a stubborn resistance. Great difficulty was ex- 
perienced in collecting forces sufficient to conquer the 
enemy, who made another destructive raid into the 

Panda offers Assistance. — Panda, the Zulu chief, 
offered assistance, saying tliat his soldiers were weary 
of peace, but the offer Avas declined with thanks. 

Kreli's Country swept. — In December, 1851, and 
Jaiuuiry, 1852, Kreli's country was swept, and 30,000 
head of cattle captured. In February the Governor 
called up the farmers of the frontier districts to 
assist in sweeping the forest fastnesses, but very few 
respondiHl. This war was carried on mainly by regular 
trtxjps with levies of Fingos, and of those Hottentots 
who i-emained faithful. 


A History of South Africa 

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The Cape Colony under British Rule 267 

Recall of Sir Harry Smith.— Sir George Cathcart 
Governor. — In January, 1852, Earl Grey, beiiiK JIh- 
-atisfied with the manner in which the war was being 
conducted, recalled Sir Harry Smith and appointed 
Lieutenant-General the Honourable George Cathcart 
as Governor in his place. At the same time Mr. Charles 
Henry Darling was appointed Lieutenant-Governor. 
General Cathcart took the oaths of office on March 31. 
He at once handed over the conduct of affairs to the 
Lieutenant-Governor and j^roceeded to the frontier, 
where he had an interview with Sir Harry Smith. 
Vigorous measures were now taken ; heavy reinforce- 
ments had arrived. Major-General Yorke, who was 
appointed second in command of the forces, came to 
the frontier. 

Wreck of the " Birkenhead." — The steam transport 
Birkenhead, bound for the eastern frontier with troops 
which embarked at Simon's Bay, was wrecked close to 
a spot on the coast of the Caledon district, which has 
since been known as Danger Point. She struck a 
sunken rock at 2 a.m. on February 26. The women 
and children and a few of the men were saved, but 9 
officers, 349 rank and file, and 79 of the ship's company 
were drowned or otherwise perished in the shark- 
infested waters. The soldiers afforded a splendid 
example of discipline. With death imminent they 
obeyed the order to fall in on the deck of the doomed 
vessel — as calmly as though they had been parading 
in their bai-rack square. 

Mounted Police organised. — Sir George Cathcai-t 
quickly brought tlie war to a successful conclusion. 
Instead of abandoning strongholds such as the Amatole 
Basin and the Waterkloof — after such had been cleared 
of the enemy, sometimes at considerable cost — he 
caused small redoubts to be constructed at suitable 
strategic points within such strongholds. These re- 
doubts contained stores and afforded shelter to the 
patrols; they could be impregnably held by a very 
small force. Another change he made was to i-educe 
considerably the sti*ength of the irregular corps and 
the Native levies. These had been very expensive, 
and in the case of the latter zeal was apt to be much 
greater in the matter of capturing cattle than in 
actually engaging the foe. A force of 750 European 

268 A History of South Africa 

mounted police was now organised ; these men pro 
vided their own horses, arms, equipment, and food. 
They were paid 5s. Qd. per day, and supplied with 
ammunition. No more efficient force for the work 
required ever took the field. Within a very short time 
they cleared the border districts of the enemy. 

End of the War. — A force of burghers was assembled 
at Imvani in August. This with a small detachment 
of regular troops crossed the Kei, burnt Kreli's kraal 
and captured over 10,000 head of cattle. The Eighth 
Kaffir War was now practically over. The chiefs made 
submission. Sandile, Maqoma, and several others met 
the Governor at Yellowwoods, near King William's 
Town. They were informed that neither they nor 
their followers would ever be permitted to return to 
the Amatole region. A location was assigned to them 
farther to the eastward. Umlanjeni, quite discredited, 
sank into obscurity. Uithalder wandered for a time, 
with a price of £500 upon his head ; eventually he took 
his own life. 

Queenstown District founded. — Most of the country 
which Mapassa and his Tembus had occupied at the 
back of the Amatole Range was surveyed and granted 
to Europeans. Personal occupation and the mainte- 
nance of an armed man for each 1000 acres were 
among the conditions of tenure. The forfeited Tembu 
territory was constituted a division and named Queens- 
town. On the Komani River a village was laid out ; 
this has since become one of the most flourishing towns 
of the eastern district. The land of the Hottentots at 
Kat River (now named the District of Stockenstrom), 
who had rebelled, was granted to Europeans, and 
a village named Seymour, after Lieutenant-Colonel 
Charles Seymour, the Governor's military secretary, 
was laid out close to the fort at Eland's Post. This 
became the seat of magistracy. Colonel McKinnon re- 
signed the Chief-Commissionership of British Kaffraria, 
and was succeeded by Colonel Maclean, formerly Com- 
missioner to the Ndhlambi clan. As a proof of the 
efficacy of missions, it may be mentioned that 1500 
Christian Natives remained in King William's Town 
throughout the war and conducted themselves with 
perfect propriety. 

Sir George Cathcart, just before the settlement at 

The Cape Colony under British Rule 269 

the end of the war, piruccdod to Basutoland with a 
military force, where lie suHVied a leversc. This episode 
is dealt with in another chapter. He retired in May, 
1854, and returned to England. He was killed at the 
Battle of Inkerman. 


(To 1861) 

The Cape Colony— Constitutional Government 

Desire for Representative Institutions. — As a sense of 
nationality grew in the Cape Colony, the people became 
more and more desirous of having a voice in the 
management of their own affairs. However, British 
politicians, in view of the peculiar racial conditions 
obtaining in South Africa, were dubious as to what 
would be the result of granting representative institu- 
tions. It was recognised that the two white races were 
still sharply divided on certain important questions, 
whilst the coloured people had been so variously de- 
scribed by both friendly and unfriendly critics that no 
definite idea as to their character or capacity could be 
formed. From time to time petitions asking for a con- 
stitution reached ^ the British Administration. Those 
from the Western Province as a rule asked for a single 
chamber, and desired that the Colony should be treated 
as one and indivisible. 

Claims of the Frontier. — But those from the 
Eastern Province expressed the desire for a separate 
Government on the British model, or, as an alternative 
to separation from the West, that the seat of govern- 
ment might be removed to the frontier. It was pointed 
out with much force that of all questions on South 
Africa that concerning the relations between the Euro- 
peans and the formidable tribes of warlike Natives was 
by far the most pressing, and that only an executive 
near the frontier could adequately deal with the im- 
portant problems there continually arising. 

A Draft Constitution.— It was not until 1846 thdt 
any definite steps were taken. Then the Secretary of 
State, Earl Grey, called upon the Government at the 

The Cape Colony— Constitutional Government 271 

Cape for a report on the general question. Sir Hany 
Smith requested Mr. William Porter, the Attorney- 
General, to prepare a draft of a Constitution. In 
March, 1846, this draft was submitted to a committee 
consisting of three judges and the members of the 
Executive Council. Their report was to the effect that 
the Colonists had lost all faith in the existing Legisla- 
tive Council, and that great difficulty had been 
experienced in finding competent men to fill vacancies 
among the unofficial members. The committee was 
unanimously opposed to the separation of the eastern 
from the western portion of the Colony, and was in 
favour of Cape Town remaining the seat of Govern- 
ment. Further, it considered that no danger was to 
be apprehended from any rivalry between English and 
Dutch, and that there was no fear of any attempt 
being made by either of the European races to treat 
coloured people unjustly. At the Governor's request 
the Attorney-General drafted a Constitution, which 
was forwarded to Earl Grey. After the matter had 
been referred to the Lords of the Committee of Council 
for Trade and Foreign Plantations, and reported upon 
by them, it was laid before the Queen in Council on 
January 30, 1850, and approved of. 

Views of the Secretary of State. — Constitution 
granted. — On May 28, Letters Patent were issued, de- 
fining the framework of the Constitution for the Ceipe 
Colony. There was to be an elected Legislative Council, 
presided over by the Chief Justice, and an elected 
House of Assembly ; the House of Assembly might be 
at any time dissolved by the Governor, or the House 
of Assembly and the Legislative Council simultaneously 
dissolved, but the Legislative Council might not be 
dissolved without the dissolution of the other Chamber 
taking plac'e at the same time. Most of the other 
details were left to be arranged by the existing local 
legislature and after determination was to be sub- 
mitted to the Queen in Council for approval or 
alteration. The matter naturally aroused great interest 
in the Cape Colony. Many meetings were held; long 
debates in the Legislative Council took place. In 1852 
the Constitution Ordinance as passed by the Legislative 
Council was forwarded to the Secretary of State, but 
owing to a change of Government in Great Britain 

272 A History of South Africa 

a further delay took place. However, on March 11, 
1853, the Constitution Ordinance was approved of and 
ratified ; it had to come into effect from July 1. Only 
one important alteration in the draft, as passed by the 
Legislative Council, was made. In the original draft 
one of the qualifications upon which the franchise 
was based was occupation for twelve months of a 
house worth £25. This had been raised to occupation 
of a house with a yearly rental of £10, or possession 
of landed property worth £50. The Attorney-General 
and two other members of the Legislative Council 
supported the lower qualification, but were overborne 
by a vote of 8 to 3. The idea of raising the franchise 
had for its object the restriction of the coloured vote. 
In reinstating the lower franchise the Secretary of 
State wrote : " It is the earnest desire of Her Majesty's 
Government that all her subjects at the Cape, without 
distinction of class or colour, should be united by one 
bond of loyalty and common interest." On April 21, 
1853, the mail steamer bearing the approved Con- 
stitution arrived. It provided for two chambers : a 
Legislative Council and a Legislative Assembly. The 
Legislative Council was to consist of fifteen members 
of whom eight were to be returned by the Western 
and seven by the Eastern Province ; its duration was 
to be ten years. The candidates had to be at least 
thirty years of age, and had to possess fixed property 
of the value of £200 or freehold property of the value 
of £4000. The Legislative Assembly was to consist of 
forty-six members, and was presided over by one of 
its own members elected, for the purpose and termed 
" The Speaker." 

Both Houses were elected on a franchise based as 
follows : — 

(a) To have been in occupation of house or land to 
the value of £25, or for one year, or 

(6) To be in receipt of a salary of at least £50 a 
year, or 

(c) To be in receipt of a salary of at least £25 a 
year in addition to board and lodging. 
The registration of votes had to take place every second 
year ; only male subjects of the Queen either by birth 
or naturalisation could be registered. The Ministry 
was independent of Parliament and consisted of the 

The Cape Colony— Constitutional Government 273 

Colonial 8eci(;taiy, the Attorney-General, the Treasurer- 
General and the Audi tor-General. These officials were 
appointed in England. They had the right to debate 
in both Houses, but might not vote. 

The First Parliament. — The first Parliament of 
tlie Cape Colony met on June 30, 1854 ; Sir George 
Cathcai't had left to take up a command at the Crimea, 
so the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr. Charles Henry Darling, 
formally opened the Session, which was held in the 
Banqueting Hall of the " Goede Hoop " Masonic Lodge. 
Mr. C. J. Brand was elected as Speaker. 

Sir George Grey. — On December 5, 1854, Sir 
George Grey arrived at Cape Town and assumed the 
functions of Governor and High Commissioner. He 
had served as Governor in both South Australia and 
New Zealand with great success, and had previously 
distinguished himself as an explorer in what were then 
unknown parts of Australia. Sir George Grey was a 
many-sided man. He possessed great tact and had 
that faculty for dealing successfully with inferior 
races which is inborn and cannot be acquired. The 
guiding principle of his career was an intense desire to 
promote the welfare of whatever pi'ovince lay in his 
charge. He was endowed with considerable physical 
endurance, and ,he invariably inspired his subordinates 
with strong personal regard. Moreover, he was an 
accomplished scholar. 

As Lieutenant-Governor, Lieutenant-General Sir 
James Jackson, was appointed to the Eastern Province. 
He had to reside in Grahamstown. Except in military 
mattei*s, he was merely the administrative channel 
between the Province and the Governor at Cape Town. 
This arrangement by no means satisfied the inhabitants 
of tlio eastern districts. 

Enlargement of the Supreme Court. — The second 
>»>ss ion of the Cape Parliament took place in March, 
\S~)~). Among the changes rendered necessary through 
the development of the Colony, and now introduced, 
may be mentioned the enlargement of the Supreme 
Court to a Chief Justice and three puisne judges, and 
the creation of nine new magisterial districts. 

Polioe augmented. — The Frontier Armed and 
Mounted Police, which had been of such great use in 
bringing the last Kattir War to a successful conclusion, 


274 A History of South Africa 

were raised to a strength of 550 men, and placed under 
the command of Mr. — afterwards Sir — Walter Currie. 
Most of the officers were young Albany farmers ; the 


ranks were mainly filled by young Englishmen of a 
sviperior class. 

Establishment of DiYisional Councils.— Changes in 
the Tariff. — Divisional Councils were created in 

The Cape Colony-Constitutional Government 275 

substitution for the Divisional Road Boards. Each 
Division had a council of six elected members, with the 
Civil Commissioner as Chairman. Important changes 
were made in the Customs Tariff, which now placed 
goods imported from Great Britain on the same level 
as those imported from foreign countries. This was in 
accordance with British opinion at the time. Some 
articles were specially rated, some were admitted free, 
but the general tariff was 7^ per cent, ad valorem. The 
annual value of exports had now reached nearly a 
million sterling ; about two-thirds of this was in respect 
of wool. 

Movement towards Responsible Government. — A 
resolution in favour of the principle of responsible 
government was affirmed by both Houses of Parliament 
in 1855, but was rescinded the following session. 

Ravages of Lung-sickness. — In 1855 and 1856 a 
great misfortune befell the cattle-farming industry. 
Lung-sickness or pleuro-pneumonia was introduced by 
a bull imported from Holland in 1854, and landed at 
Mossel Bay. Within two years upwards of 100,000 
head of cattle died. At the same time a severe epidemic 
of horse sickness raged ; it was estimated that some 
65,000 animals died in the Colony. The subjects which 
most engaged the attention of the Parliament during 
this session were the proposal that the seat of govern- 
ment should be removed to Grahamstown and the 
question of State support to ministers of religion. The 
strongest advocate of the voluntary principle was Mr. 
Saul Solomon, the member for Cape Town, but the 
majority were so far in favour of State aid. 

The Mail Service. — In 1856 an arrangement was 
entered into by the British Government with Mr. Dundas 
for the conveyance of mails from England viA the Cape 
to Mauritius and India. The contract time between 
Dartmouth and Table Bay was fixed at thirty-six days. 
This arrangement only lasted for a year. In its stead 
a contract was entered into between the Admiralty and 
the Union Steamship Company to convey mails monthly 
each way between Devonp)ort and Cape Town in forty- 
two days. The ships, with the exception of a few in 
use at the commencement, were to be at least 530 tons 
burden. Thus began the connection of the Union Com- 
pany with South Africa. 

276 A History of South Africa 

, The Museum. — In June, 1855, the South African 
Museum was founded, Mr. Rawson W. Rawson, Colonial 
Secretary, and Dr. Ludovic Pappe being the first 
trustees. Mr. Edgar Layard, a distinguished ornith- 
ologist, was appointed curator. His collection of 
birds is still one of the most valuable and attractive 
features of the natural history section. In 1857 the 
Museum was incorporated by an Act of Parliament. 
At the suggestion of Sir George Grey, a large building 
was constructed near the foot of the Avenue leading 
to the Gardens from Adderley Street. In this the 
Museum as well as the South African Public Library 
was housed for many years. 

Copper in Namaqualand. — The existence of copper 
in Namaqualand, south of the Orange River, had been 
known ever since the days of Simon van der Stel. It 
was not, however, until 1846 that any attempt was 
made towards mining the ore. The first efforts failed, 

i but in 1852 a mine was opened at Springbokfontein, 
where a rich deposit existed. During the following 
two years there was much wild speculation in copper 
ventures. Eventually, however, operations became 
restricted to those few mines which were found to be 
vindoubtedly payable, and the industry thus became a 
settled one. The transport of the ore over a distance 
of upwards of seventy miles to the coast was effected 
by means of wagons drawn by mules and oxen. This, 
although difficult and expensive, was found to be 
profitable in view of the high grade of the ore. In the 
first instance the latter was shipped from Hondeklip 
Bay ; later, however. Port Nolloth, about ninety miles 
to the northward, was opened up. In 1871 a trolley 
line between Port Nolloth and the mines was established. 
Upon this line steam power has since superseded that 
of mules. The annual value of the ore exported is 
about £300,000. 

British Kaffraria. — Policy towards the Natives. — 
When Sir George Grey arrived at the Cape the province 
of Kaffraria was in an unsatisfactory and anomalous 
state. The idea of appointing a Lieutenant-Governor 
had been dropped. Within the Province the Xosa 
chiefs possessed absolute independence in respect of 
the government of their own people. The few European 
residents were under the High Commissioner, whose 

The Cape Colony — Constitutional Government 277 

(•( mtrol was still quite undefined. Colonel John Maclean, 
the Chief Connnissioner, resided at Fort Murray, about 
seven miles from King William's Town ; Mr. Charles 
Brownlee, the Gaika Commissioner, at the site of the 
present village of Stutterheim. Captain Richard Taylor, 
a retired military officer, was magistrate of King 
William's Town. There were about 2500 troops occu- 
pying the various posts in the Province. Within the 
Colony, but close to the frontier, were some 2200 more. 
So strict was the principle of non-interference with the 
jurisdiction of the chiefs, that even crimes such as 
murders of Natives by Natives were not taken cogni- 
sance of by the European administration. Sir George 
Grey was dissatisfied Avith this state of things, and 
brought his strong personal influence to bear upon the 
chiefs, with such effect that in consideration of a 
moderate fixed salary they surrendered their right to 
fines imposed on their people and permitted Europeans 
to sit in their courts as assessors. With a view to 
fostering habits of industry among the Natives roads 
were laid out and constructed by labourers working 
under European overseers. It was obviously very im- 
portant to endeavour to undermine the belief of the 
people in ^vitchcraft. This belief is probably more 
deeply rooted than any other in the Native mind ; even 
to-day it persists to a considerable extent. Half a 
century ago it is not too much to say that among the 
Bantu sickness was invariably attributed to the practice 
of spells by an enemy. The effects of this were terrible ; 
the witch-finder was continually consulted, and at his 
bidding large numbers of innocent people were put to 
a cruel death. With the view of ending this and giving 
the Natives a true idea of the nature of disease, a large 
and spacious hospital building was constructed by mili- 
tary labourers assisted by Natives. Thus was founded 
the Gi*ey Hospital ; it was placed under the control of 
Dr. J. P. Fitzgerald, with whom Sir George Grey had 
been acquainted in New Zealand. The services of two 
other skilled physicians and a qualified dispenser were 
obtained. In the hospital sick Natives were maintained 
and tended free of charge. Industi-ial schools in which 
Natives could be taught various trades were also estab- 
lished by various missionary stxiieties under encoumge- 
ment and assistance by the Governor. The great 

278 A History of South Africa 

educational and industrial institutions of Lovedale in 
Victoria East and Heald Town near Fort Beaufort 
date from this period. The Imperial Treasury treated 
British Kaffraria with great liberality. For the purpose 
of civilising the Natives there the sum of £40,000 per 
annum was granted during 1855 and the two succeeding 

European Settlers. — Sir George Grey was most 
anxious to introduce European settlers into the Pro- 
vince. He considered that by this means security 
would be increased, and that before long the garrison 
might safely be reduced. On the eastern outskirts of 
King William's Town he caused to be built a number 
of comfortable cottages. It was his idea that these 
should be occupied by married pensioners from the 
army, to be introduced from England. This scheme 
fell through, so the cottages were given to married 
soldiers who received their discharge locally. In 1856 
the Crimean War came to an end, and the British 
Government decided to send the German Legion, which 
had been enrolled for service in the war with Russia, 
to British Kaffraria and disband it there. The Cape 
Parliament voted money for the purpose. In 1857, 
2351 officers and men of the Legion, with 559 women 
and children, were landed in East London and distri- 
buted in suitable localities throughout the Province. 
Of the women, 203 were English who had married 
Germans when the transports cast anchor in British 
waters en route for South Africa. 

Unrest upon the Border. — Early in 1856 there again 
appeared ominous indications of unrest upon the Border. 
To those acquainted with the Native character, it was 
clear that the chiefs were preparing for another trial of 
strength. The Fingos took to fraternising with their 
former enemies ; intermarriages betw een Fingos and 
Kaffirs became common. The Government was, how- 
ever, fully cognisant of what was going on. When it 
was ascertained that confidential messages were being 
exchanged betw een Moshesh and Kreli, it was regarded 
as certain that a fresh outbreak of war was imminent. 
Steps were taken towards increasing the South African 
garrison ; all available troops were moved to the 
frontier. A regiment stationed at Mauritius, which 
had been requisitioned for service in South Africa, 

The Cape Colony— Constitutional Government 279 

was landed at Port Elizabeth and marched to the 

Nongqause. — Umhlakaza. — One circumstance which 
iiitenMilitHl the Native unrest was the outbreak of lung- 
sickness among the cattle on the frontier. In spite of 
the obvious circumstance that the cattle of the Euro- 
peans were also dying of the disease, the Natives attri- 
buted their loss to the exercise of the White Man's 
magic. Just when war appeared to be on the point of 
breaking out, something happened which completely 
changed the trend of events. A little girl named Nong- 
qause, daughter of one of Kreli's councillors, went one 
morning, as was her wont, to fill her calabashes with 
water at a stream. On returning she informed her 
uncle, Umhlakaza, that she had seen near the river 
some men of strange appearance. Umhlakaza, as he 
stated, went to the spot indicated and met the strangers. 
They told him to purify himself ceremonially, offer a 
sacrifice to the " Imishologu," or ancestral spirits, and 
return on the fourth day. This he did ; again he found 
the strangers. They informed him that they had com© 
from battlefields beyond the sea to aid the Xosas in 
conquering the white men, and that he, Umhlakaza, 
was to be the medium between them and the Xosa 
nation. One most imperative command they commu- 
nicated : The people had to kill all their cattle, destroy 
food of every description, and refrain from cultivation. 
Then the dead would arise in their myriads and the 
white men be driven into the sea. Moreover, countless 
herds of cattle were to emerge from beneath the waves 
and from the caverns of the earth, whilst in a night 
the fields would be filled with millet, ripe for the reap- 
ing. The old would become young, and those who had 
died advanced in years would arise in the full strength 
and comeliness of youth. A dreadful fate was to befall 
those who neglected to obey the will of the spirits : — 
a great hurricane would arise and sweep them into the 
sea, or else the sky would fall and crush them. Nong- 
qause was probably a ventriloquist, for she used to 
take people to a certain cave, and also to wolf- and 
ant-bear holes, and there simulate the lowing of the 
cattle, which, she said, were waiting impatiently under- 
ground for tho day of their release. 

The Cattle-killing. — This wild story gained univei-sal 

2 8o A History of South Africa 

credence. The people became demented ; over large 
areas every head of cattle was slaughtered, every atom 
of food destroyed. February 18 was the date fixed for 
the great miracle ; then the sun's course was to be 
reversed and the earth wrapt in darkness. Before 
this day arrived, the people had begun to feel the pinch 
of hunger, but the hushed ecstasy of anticipation in 
which they lived made them smile at their pangs. On 
the last evening the old women decked themselves out 
in trinkets ; they were filled with the belief that before 
the sun again arose youth and comeliness would have 
returned to them, and that they would once more meet 
their long-dead husbands. 

Terrible Disillusionment. — Famine. — But dawn came, 
the sun arose, passed the zenith, and declined once 
more, but no miracle happened. After the manner of 
his kind, the Prophet had an excuse ready. Faith re- 
vived for a few days. But there was an absolute dearth 
of food, and the people soon began to die. Within a 
few weeks upwards of 70,000 perished; among these 
were many of the chiefs and councillors, for famine is 
no respecter of persons, and gentle suffered with simple. 
Among those who starved to death was Umhlakaza. 

The seashore at the mouth of the Gxara River, east- 
ward of the Great Kei, was the scene of the alleged 
vision. Umhlakaza had evidently been told about the 
Crimean War, for he said that the strangers with whom 
he had conversed called themselves Russians. During 
the Crimean period, and for about a year before the 
cattle-killing, look-outs used to be posted on the higher 
hills of the Transkeian coast to signal the arrival of 
the Russian ships, which were supposed to be coming 
with help for the Xosas. 

The mortality was frightful ; the survivors crept 
away in every direction seeking food. Numbers went 
to the sea coast and endeavoured to stay the pangs of 
hunger by eating shellfish ; but the diet disagreed with 
them, and the greater number died of dysentery. Whole 
families perished together in their huts ; some took to 
cannibalism ; people Avere known to eat the flesh of 
their children. The terrible delusion extended to the 
Tembus, who suffered as severely as the Xosas. Thou- 
sands managed to drag themselves over the Border, 
subsisting upon roots, insects, and unspeakable things. 

The Cape Colony Constitutional Government 281 

These obtained work anions the farmers. The Gaikas 
did not suffer (xuite so much as the other clans, for 
Mr. Charles Brownlee, Commissioner with Sandile, was 
able to persuade some of the ijeople to refrain from 
destroying their cattle. 

Results of the Cattle-killing.~One result of the 
cattle-killing Avas that the war spirit of the Xosas 
disappeared for a generation. The dispersal of the 
people among the farmers for a season and the kind- 
ness with which they were treated dissipated many 
erroneous ideas relative to the Europeans which they 
had hitherto held. Kreli, the arch fomenter of trouble, 
was expelled with the sorry remnants of his tribe from 
the territory the Gcalekas had for so long inhabited. 
He crossed the Bashee and occupied a small location 
assigned to him by the chief of the Bomvanas. Sandile's 
powers were restricted, judicial functions being taken 
out of his hands and vested in those of the magistrate. 
His territory also was curtaileri. The Tembu chief, 
Vadana, with some nine hundred mounted men, became 
a freebooter and raided far and near. His following 
was, however, soon scattered by the police. Vadana 
was captured and interned on Robben Island. The 
Fingos, who had not allowed themselves to be led away 
by Umhlakaza, became prosperous and in various 
localities supplanted their former oppressors. 

German Immigrants. — In August, 1857, the Govern- 
ment entered into correspondence with the Secretary 
of State, suggesting the introduction of a large number 
of German emigrants to British Kaffraria. The pro- 
posal was at first favourably received, but was after- 
wards disapproved of. In the mean time the Governor 
on his own responsibility entered into an arrangement 
with a Hamburg firm, in terms of which 2315 p)easants 
from North Germany w^ere introduced. No better 
settlers than these people ever reached the shores of 
South Africa : they were located in British Kaffraria 
and on the western bank of the Keiskamma. But the 
Governor's action was strongly disapproved of by the 
British Government, and the emigration was forthwith 

Farms in British Kaffraria assigned to Europeans. 
— Sir George Grey assigned most of the land in British 
Kaffraria, which had hitherto been occupied by the now 

282 A History of South Africa 

self-exterminated clans, to European farmers. Such 
were for the first time enabled to pursue their avoca- 
tions in security, for, excepting the Fingos located near 
Butterworth, and less than two thousand Ndhlambis 
who had been assigned a location near Idutywa, the 
great tract of country between the Kei and the Bashee 
was uninhabited. In 1859 a number of the Xosas flocked 
back to British Kaffraria, from where they had been 
scattered among the farmers of Albany and Victoria 
East, and settled down in certain locations which had 
been reserved for Native occupation. According to a 
census taken on December 31 of that year, the Province 
contained nearly 6000 Europeans and about 53,000 
Bantu. There were 302 farms in occupation by the 

Administration of the Province. — In 1860 Letters 
Patent were issued, settling the form of government 
for the Province. The Governor was given the poAver 
to enact laws. Subject to his authority a Lieutenant- 
Governor had to carry on the local administration. 
The Province was divided into two magistracies. King 
William's Town and East London. Lieutenant-Colonel 
John Maclean was appointed Lieutenant-Governor. 
In 1861 a Supreme Court under a single judge was 

Despatch of Troops to India. — In June, 1857, the 
news of the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny reached 
Cape Town. The Governor at once took steps to 
organise assistance for the sorely-pressed Europeans. 
On August 6 came intelligence of the seizure of Delhi 
by the mutineers. Sir George Grey did not hesitate 
for an instant. On his own responsibility he despatched 
to India as many troops as transports could be provided 
for. Other transports conveying troops to China put 
into Table Bay ; he changed the destination of these 
to India. Subsequently the Governor called to the 
colours for service against the mutineers, a number of 
the German Legion in British Kaffraria. Many of 
these were unmarried men of a more or less restless 
disposition. In doing this Sir George Grey broke the 
stringent law which existed against levying troops for 
service outside the sphere of his jurisdiction without 
authority. But it was recognised that in the tre- 
mendous emergency existing, the end justified the 

The Cape Colony — Constitutional Government 283 

means. This promjjt and enlightened action enabled 
the Indian Government to take vigorous steps towards 
stemming the tide of revolt long before it was possible 
to obtain rtMiiforconionts from England. 

Origin of the Cape University. — Railway Construo- 
tion.— Harbour Works. — Lighthouses. — The germ of 
the i)ie.s('iit Cape University is to be found in a Board * 
of Examiners, which was appointed by Sir George Grey 
in 1857 and empowered to grant certificates in litera- 
ture and science. In 1858 an Act of Parliament was 
passed, providing for the appointment of a board of 
seven examiners, who were empowered to issue certifi- 
cates to those wishing to qualify for professions in the 
colony. Railway consti-uction was begun in 1859, the . 
first sod being turned by the Governor. The first line 
authorised was that running from Cape Town to 
Wellington through Stellenbosch and the Paarl. The 
improvement of Table Bay had engaged the Governor's 
attention. On September 17, 1860, the Table Bay 
Harbour Works were commenced — according to plans 
drawn by Mr., later Sir, John Coode. The construction 
of a breakwater at Port Elizabeth was begun, but 
owing to the formation of a sandbank the work had 
to be suspended and the piles already in position re- 
moved. In 1860 a lighthouse was constructed at Cape 
Point and during the following year another was placed 
on the Donkin Reserve at Port Elizabeth. The light- 
ship in Simon's Bay was replaced by a lighthouse on 
the Roman Rock. 

Arrival of Numerous Immigrants.— Between 1858 
and 18(U ui)wards of 650 innuigrants, many of whom 
were boys and girls, arrived from Holland. There was 
very great scarcity of labour. In 1857 an Immigration 
Act was passed, providing for the introduction from 
Great Britain of farm servants, agriculturalists, and 
mechanics. During the years 1858, 1859, and 1860, » 
nearly 8000 immigrants had their passages paid to the 
Cape. Besides these, upwards of 6000 British immi- 
grants were introduced under a system, in terms of 
which a portion of the passage money per mail steamer 
was paid. In addition large ninnbers belonging to the 
professional and commercial classes arrived by the 
mail steamers, for the ])uriK)se of making South Africa 
their home. During 1860 and 1861 a number of families 

284 A History of South Africa 

emigrated to the Cape from North Germany, paying 
their own expenses. These comprised 1008 men, women, 
and children. 

Depression. — Yine Disease. — The year 1859 was one 
of misfortune, so it was found necessary strongly to 
curtail the amounts being expended on immigration. 
There befell a drought of such severity that in many 
parts of the Colony agriculture ceased and even traffic 
was suspended. In the eastern districts a noxious plant, 
the Xanthium spinosium, or " burr- weed," spread with 
strange rapidity. This plant bears a burr which imbeds 
itself in the wool of merino sheep, and much reduces 
the value of the staple. In the vineyards of the Western 
Province the blight of oidium broke out and spread 
quickly. It seemed at one time as though the vineyard 
industry would be completely destroyed. Fortunately, 
however, it was discovered that a treatment with 
powdered sulphur checked the scourge. In 1858 an 
outbreak of small-pox occurred in Cape Town, and did 
much damage. During the year following the disease 
spread to the country, but before long its course was 
checked. The Natives in British Kaffraria suffered 
severely from its ravages. 

Sir George Grey favours Federation. — Sir George 
Grey, like many great men, saw farther into the future 
than his contemporaries. He divined the coming de- 
velopment of South Africa, and foresaw the inevitable 
union of the different States. He saw that while there 
were five distinct governments in South Africa, no 
common policy which could successfully meet and over- 
come the larger problems of the country w^as practi- 
cable. The solution lay in federation between the 
various states. It was clear to him that this would 
not only free the Imperial Government from a great 
deal of responsibility, but would diminish military ex- 
penditure, and would have, moreover, the enormous 
advantage of making possible a local solution of those 
questions which were better understood in South Africa 
than in Downing Street. A suggestion towards Federal 
Union came from the Orange Free State, and this he 
communicated in words of prescient wisdom to the 
Cape Parliament at the opening of the session on March 
17, 1859. In taking this step the Governor acted in full 
concurrence with the opinion of his Executive Council, 

The Cape Colony— Constitutional Government 285 

but unfortunately against the instructions of the 
Secretary of State. Current opinion in England was 
at the time opposed to colonial expansion, so the 
wise course taken by Sir George Grey resulted in his 

His Recall causes General Regret.— Deep and general 
regret throughout South Africa resulted. For the 
third time Avithin a quarter of a century a Governor 
who had brought an open mind to bear ujwn South 
African problems and had successfully endeavoured to 
ovei*come the difficulties and disabilities under which 
the country laboured had been deprived of his office 
owing to want of understanding on the part of distant 
party politicians. Sir George Grey was the first 
Governor who had gained the trust and affection of 
the British, the Dutch, and the Natives. Strong 
petitions were framed asking the Queen to reverse the 
step taken by the Secretary of State. In the mean 
time there had been a change of Ministry in England ; 
the Duke of Newcastle had become Minister for the 

His Reinstatement. — In consideration of Sir George 
Grey's eminent services and great ability the Minister 
consented to reinstate him, but only on condition that 
the policy of non-expansion should be adhered to. This 
Sir George Grey agreed to, so he returned to South 
Africa, where he arrived on July 4, 1860. During the 
period of his absence General Wynward, who was 
Lieutenant-Governor, carried on the administration of 
the Colony. 

Weights and Measures. — Angora Hair. — In 1861 
British weights and measures were brought into use 
in the colony ; hitherto much confusion had resulted 
through those introduced by the Dutch East India 
Company being still used in some parts. The land- 
measure had been fixed in 1857, when the Rhynland 
foot was taken as the standard (1000 Rhynland feet 
are equal to 1038 British standard feet). In 1861 a Bill 
providing for the separation of the Eastern from the 
Western Province was proposed to the Cape Govern- 
ment, but was defeated in both Houses. A company 
was incorporated to construct a line of railway from 
Salt River to Wynberg on the Cape Peninsula. An 
Act was passed authorising a private company to 

286 A History of South Africa 

construct a telegraph line from Cape Town to Grahams- 
town. At this time the military had in use a telegraph 
line between King William's Town and East London. 
The production of angora hair had now become an 
important industry. For some years efforts had been 
made towards improving the Cape stock. To the late 
Mr. Julius Mosenthal, a merchant of Port Elizabeth, is 
due the credit of first introducing absolutely pure stock 
from Asia Minor. 

Sir George Grey did much to foster education. The 
" Grey Institute " at Port Elizabeth, the " Grey College " 
at Bloemfontein, the Missionary Institutions at Love- 
dale, Heald Town, Zonnebloem and Lesseytown, all 
received from him assistance and encouragement at 
their inception. He had also encouraged the formation 
of volunteer corps, of which some twenty now existed. 
It was his idea that the Colony should gradually fit 
itself to undertake its own defence. 

The Secretary of State vetoes Colonial Expansion. — 
At this period there was a considerable extent of vacant 
land on the coast littoral between the Cape Colony and 
Natal, lying between the various areas occupied by 
Bantu. Sir George Grey was strongly of opinion that 
these tracts, which were of great fertility, should be 
filled with European settlers. But public and official 
opinion in England was so strongly averse to any 
extension of Imperial responsibility that the idea could 
not be carried out. Had such been done much sub- 
sequent strife and bloodshed would have been spared. 

Sir George Grey transferred to New Zealand. — His 
Gift to the South African Library. — In 1861 Sir George 
Grey was appointed Governor of New Zealand, and on 
August 15 he left Cape Town on board H.M.S. Cossack 
for his new sphere. His departure occasioned universal 
regret. A few months subsequently he wrote to his 
friend. Judge Watermeyer, notifying a valuable dona- 
tion to the South African Library. It consisted of 
some 5000 rare books, besides a number of manuscripts, 
the value of which was £30,000. This, "The Grey 
Collection," forms a section of the South African 
Library and is open for the use of students. 

(To 1876) 

The Cape Colony— Responsible Government 

Governor Wodehouse. — His Character.— Sir George 
Grey was succeeded by Mr. Philip Edmoud Wodehouse, 
who was promoted from the Governorship of British 
Guiana. He had begun his official life as an Indian 
civil servant. Mr. Wodehouse was a typical bureau- 
crat, very deficient in the item of sympathy and with 
a natural tendency towards autocracy which had been 
fostered by his training in the East. He assumed duty 
on January 15, 1862, General Wynward having acted 
as Administrator since the departure of Sir George 

Immigration. — Depression. — During 1862, 767 British 
immigrants Avere introduced. Then the immigration 
stopped. Owing to a succession of severe droughts the 
Colony was in a depressed condition, so a number of 
those who had recently come to South Africa again 
emigrated, some going to New Zealand and others to 
the United States. A few immigrants from Germany 
and Holland arrived from time to time. 

British Kaffraria. — At his first assembling of Parlia- 
ment the Governor in his opening speech favoured the 
annexation of British Kaffraria. This proposal was 
very unfavourably received by the Europeans in the 
Province. A bill providing for the annexation was 
introduced, but thrown out by the House of Assembly. 
He next proposed a measure providing for the holdmg 
of Parliamentary Sessions alternately in Cape Town 
and Grahamstown ; this was also defeated. 

In 1863 the railway line between Cape Town and 
Wellington was opened ; that to Wj^nberg was com- 
pleted the following year. 

288 A History of South Africa 

MoYement towards Responsible GoYernment. — 

During the Session of 18(53 a motion in favour* of 
responsible government was introduced by Mr. J. C. 
Molteno, but was lost. This was followed by a motion 
providing that the next session of Parliament should 
be held in the Eastern Province. The motion was 
carried by one vote. A similar motion in the Legisla- 
tive Council was lost. Accordingly the House of 
Assembly session of 1864 was held in Grahamstown. 
However, the experiment involved so much incon- 
venience that it was not repeated. 

Ostrich Farming. — For some years past the Colony 
had been in a bad economic condition. In 1863 it had 
been found necessary to raise a loan of £160,000 at six 
per cent. In 1864 there was so much distress that 
relief works had to be started. It was by this means 
that the road over which the railway now passes was 
cut into the Tulbagh Basin. In 1865 ostrich farming 
was begun, an industry which has since enormously 
developed — especially in the District of Oudtshoorn. 
It is not quite certain who was the first to farm with 
tame ostriches. Claims for this distinction have been 
advanced on behalf of the late Mr. Douglas, of Heather- 
ton Towers, Grahamstown, and the late Mr. Van 
Maltitz, of Graaff Reinet. As has been shown, the idea 
originated with Van Riebeek, but had lain dormant 
for upwards of two hundred years. 

A Census. — In 1865 a census was taken. The popula- 
tion was found to be as follows : — 

Europeans 181,592 

Hottentots 81,598 

Bantu 100,536 

Asiatics and persons of mixed race . 132,655 

Total . . . 486,381 

Agricultural DeYelopment. — The agricultural returns 
showed that with the exception of mules and asses. 
Cape sheep and pigs, there was considerably more live 
stock in the Eastern than in the Western Province. 
Of woolled sheep, for instance, there were 6,126,786 in 
the former province as against 2,243,893 in the latter. 
On the other hand, with the exception of maize it was 
found that in the production of cereals, fruit and 

The Cape Colony Responsible Government 289 

tobacco, the western districts were far ahead of the 

The Transkei abandoned. — Sir Philip Wodehouse, 
in ()i)CMiiiK i*arlianu'iit, liad foreshadowed a scheme 
under which grants of land in the Transkeian territories 
would be made to Europeans. After a long delay the 
conditions governing such proposed grants were made 
public, but were found to be quite prohibitive. Soon 
afterwards the Commander of the Forces reported that 
he believed the occupation of the Transkeian territories 
l^y EuroiKjans would lead to increased military expendi- 
ture. At once, without making any investigation, the 
Secretary of State issued instructions for the immediate 
abandonment of the Transkei. This step was regarded 
as most unwise by the European inhabitants of South 
Africa, but was evidently taken in accordance with Sir 
Philip Wodehouse's recommendation. 

Return of the Gcalekas.— The Tembus. — The Fingos 
located in Transkei. — Even before the instructions 
arrived, the Governor had communicated with Kreli 
and offered to permit him to return to, and occupy a 
portion of, his former territory. Accordingly the 
Gciilekas moved back and took possession of the coast 
country between the Kei and the Bashee. Shortly 
afterwards a number of the Emigrant Tembus were 
allowed to occupy the inland i)ortion of Kreli's former 
territory, which now forms the districts of Xalanga 
and St. Marks. The Fingos in Peddie, Victoria East, 
and other districts where they had been located, had 
increased in numbers to an unprecedented extent. The 
surplus population of the locations, some 40,000 in 
number, was moved across the Kei to what are now 
the districts of Nqamakwe, Butter worth and Tsomo. 
At the same time all sovereign rights were relinquished 
over the Transkei. At the request of the Natives, 
British Residents were apix)inted to the various tribes. 
Dissensions soon arose, and in 1872 war broke out 
between the Gcalekas and the Tembus. Year by year 
it became necessaiy to interfere more and moi'e in 
adjusting disputes and in endeavours to keep the peace. 
Til us the chiefs came in an increasing degree to depend 
upon tlu" advice tciidei'cil tlieni by the Residents. 

'' No Man's Land.''— Extension of Natal Boundary. — 
South-west of Natal lay a large tract of country l^etween 


29© A History of South Africa 

the Drakensberg and the sea, which, in terms of the 
Maitland Treaty had been assigned to the Pondo Chief. 
This tract was so sparsely populated that it had come to 
be known as " No Man's Land," but the few inhabitants 
were lawless and given to raiding, so Faku, being held 
responsible, desired to get rid of it. Eventually in 1862 
the coast portion was ceded to Natal, the south-western 
boundary of which now became the Umtamvuna River. 
The inland portion was assigned by the High Com- 
missioner in 1863 to the Griquas under Adam Kok, 
who emigrated from the south-western portion of the 
Orange Free State. Soon afterwards Nehemiah Moshesh 
moved over the Drakensberg from Basutoland and en- 
endeavoured to establish himself below the mountains 
with a f reebooting gang, but he was driven back by the 

Occupation of " No Man's Land " by Native Clans. — 
Strife among Natives. — ^During the war between the 
Orange Free State and the Basuto, which began in 
1865, a number of Moshesh's people were driven into 
the south-western portion of " No Man's Land." Later 
came detachments of other clans, including Bathlokua 
and Hlubis. To all these people locations were assigned 
by the High Commissioner. The immigrant commu- 
nities quarrelled with each other, as well as with their 
neighbours the Amabaca and the Pondomisi, so in 1872 
a Commissioner was appointed to investigate and report 
upon the condition of the country occupied by the new- 
comers, as well as that held by the tribes on its south- 
western margin. The Commission found the people 
weary of constant strife and desirous of the introduction 
of settled government. Several of the influential chiefs 
expressed a desire that the administration at the Cape 
should assume authority over them, and offered to pay 
hut-tax. In 1873 a Resident was appointed to the 
Pondomisi Tribe. 

The Griqua Country annexed. — Annexation of Trans- 
keian Territories.^In 1875 the Griqua country Avas 
annexed and before long British authority had been 
extended over the surrounding territories. In 1876 a 
magistrate Avas appointed to Mount Frere as resident 
with the Baca Chief, Makaula. Thus, with the exception 
of Pondoland, the whole area betAveen the Cape Colony 
and Natal had been annexed. 

The Cape Colony Responsible Government 291 

Annexation of British Kaffraria to Cape Colony. — 
III 1804 the Governor infornied the Secretary of State 
t liat both the Cape Colony and the Province of British 
IvafPraria were much averse to being conjoined, and 
-iiggested that the British Government should, by an act 
<>F the Inii^erial Parliament, bring about union between 
t hem. This proceeding was much resented in the Cape 
Colony. However, an act providing for the annexation 
of British Kaffraria was passed by the Cape Parliament 
in 1865 in the face of great opposition. At the same 
time the House placed on record a strong condemnation 
of the Governor's action. 

Destructive Tempest at Table Bay.— A Period of 
Droughts and Floods. — On May 17 of that year occurred 
one of the most violent tempests ever known at Table 
Bay. One steamer and fifteen sailing vessels, besides 
a number of cargo and other boats, were wrecked. On 
the same day the village of Swellendam was almost 
completely destroyed by fire. The Colony was now in 
such a state of financial depression that the relief works 
at Tulbagh Kloof had to be stopped owing to lack of 
funds. A long succession of droughts, punctuated by 
occasional floods, had borne hardly upon agriculture. 
Food became so scarce on the frontier that the Xosas 
again took to thieving ; this led to retaliatory measures 
on the part of some of the Kaffrarian farmers, which 
were followed by futile prosecutions. 

Friction between Governor and Parliament. — 
Considerable friction aiose between the Governor and 
Parliament over the question of finance. The Governor 
suggested additional taxation in the form of an impost 
iiix>n wool and other products. He also foreshadowed a 
demand on the part of the Imj^rial Government for a 
contribution towards the maintenance of the garrison. 
The House insisted uponxetrenchment asthe alternative 
to extra taxation. The general conviction was that it 
would be impossible to contribute more than the sum 
already appropriated, namely, £10,000 a year, towards 
the expenses of the garrison. The Frontier Armed and 
Mounted Police were now being maintained at the 
Colony's exjKMise. Matters almost reached a condition 
of deadlcx'k. Mr. Molteno again introduced his Bill, 
providing for i^esponsible government ; this was rejectee! 
by the House of Assembly by a majority of seven votes. 

2 92 A History of South Africa 

Early in the year an epidemic of low fever of a very 
fatal kind became general, especially in the larger towns. 
This was undoubtedly due to bad sanitary arrangements 
and an inferior water sui^ply. 

Affairs in the Northern Border. — For some years the 
state of affairs upon the Northern Border of the Cape 
Colony had been very unsatisfactory. Marauding i)arties 
of Koranas emerged from the river fastnesses from time 
to time, and plundered all they covild reach. In 1868 
the Cape Parliament passed an act authorising the 
appointment of a Special Magistrate to be entrusted 
with very large powers and given jurisdiction over the 
whole of the Northern Border. At the same time a 
force of police was raised and placed under the Special 
Magistrate's orders. Within the next few years the 
marauding clans were dispersed and a number of their 
members, including the leaders, captured. 

The Governor proposes to amend Constitution. — 
Departure of Sir Philip Wodehouse. — In 1869 rela- 
tions between Sir Philip Wodehouse and the Parliament 
once more became very strained. Upon Parliament 
refusing to adopt the estimates submitted by the 
Governor both Houses were dissolved. Before re- 
election took place the Governor published the draft 
of a Bill amending the Constitution by substituting 
for the existing Parliament a Legislative Council of 
thirty-seven members, of whom five, including the 
President, were to be nominated. The Bill received 
no support. The general sentiment of the country 
was in favour of attaining a larger measure of political 
freedom. The Governor's suggestion was retrogressive ; 
its adoption would have involved an acknowledgment 
of failure, a confession of distrust in the future. On 
May 5, Parliament was prorogued. Sir Philip Wode- 
house left South Africa shortly afterwards, regretted 
by nobody. 

Destructive Forest Fires. — Floods. — In February, 
1869, occurred a terrible fire which destroyed large 
areas of the drought-parched forests in the districts 
of Knysna, Human sdorp and Uitenhage. Some lives 
were lost, many houses and orchards, many flocks and 
herds were destroyed. The forests have never re- 
covered from the ett'ects of the conflagration. In 
September a heavy gale caused enormous damage to 

The Cape Colony— Responsible Government 293 

liippinj? in Port Elizabeth. Of thirteen sea-going 
v«'8Hels in the roadstead only two survived. In October 
<»t' the same year occurred fhxxls which caused serious 
• l.iniaKc in the districts of Oudtsh(K)rn and Beaufort 
West. The long i)eriod of drought now came to an 
end. Regular rains set in and the coinitry was soon 
covered Avitli verdure. Prosperity returned ; there is 
|)robably no countiy in the world that ix>s8esses such 
powers of resilience as South Africa. 

Sir Henry Barkly as Governor. — Sir Henry Barkly, 
who succeeded Sir Philip Wodehouse as Governor, 
assumed duty on December 31, 1870. He had held a 
similar post in four other British colonies. Prosperity, 
owing to the breaking up of the long drought and the 
increasing trade resulting from the development of the 
Diamond Fields, had set in like a returning tide. 

Soon after his assumption of duty the Governor 
undertook an extended tour, in the course of which 
he visited the Eastern Districts, Bloemfontein, the 
Diamond Fields and Basutoland. The Basuto requested 
to be brought directly under the Queen's government 
rather than under a Colonial administration. The 
Diamond Fields were in a condition of growing unrest.^ 

Responsible GoYernment once more. — In opening 
Parliament on April 27, 1871, the Governor referred to 
the inadequacy of the machinery of administration 
that existed in the Colony, and suggested that some 
system of responsible government should be introduced. 
On this question the Governor acted independently of 
the Executive Council, which held a different view. 
On June 1, Mr. Molteno, the Member for Beaufort 
West, introduced in tlie House of Assembly a motion 
affirming the desirability of — 

(a) ResiK>nsible government, and 

(b) Federation between the different South African 

After a long debate the motion was carried. A Bill 
embodying the principle of the first part of the motion 
was drafted ; this passed the House of Assembly, but 
was thiown out by the Legislative Council on the fii*st 

During the session of 1871 Basutoland was annexed 
by Act of Parliament to the Cape Colony, and measures 
• See Chapters XV. and XVI. 


A History of South Africa 

were enacted providing for the improvement of the 
harbours at Port Elizabeth and East London. A 
company which had been formed with the object of 
constructing a railway and a telegraph line between 
Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, was incorporated. 

Federation. — In the meantime a commission had 
been apijointed to inquire into and report upon the 
question of federation. In proroguing Parliament the 
Governor expressed his regret at the defeat of the Bill 
providing for the introduction of responsible govern- 


In February a disastrous flood occurred at Victoria 
West. One night a cloud-burst took place in the valley 
in which the village stands. The torrent rushed down 
and swept away more than thirty dwellings ; sixty-two 
persons were drowned. 

Responsible GoYernment introduced. — Public opinion 
in the Cape Colony was steadily growing in favour 
of responsible government. When Parliament met in 
\ 1872 a Bill embodying the principle was introduced as 
a Government measure and passed by both Houses. 
Henceforth Cape Colony was to be governed through 

The Cape Colony— Responsible Government 295 

a ministry which eould hold office only so long as it 
retained the confidence of Parliament. The ministry 
< )r cabinet was to be comi)osed of the Colonial Secretary, 
the Attorney-General, the Treasurer-General, the Com- 
missioner of Crown Lands and Public Works, and the 
Secretary for Native Affairs. One or more Ministers 
without i)ortfolio and drawing no salaiy might be 
included. Mr. J. C. Molteno was the first Prune 

Development. — Between 1868 and 1872 the imports 
of the colony liad risen from £1,883,590 to £4,210,526; 
tlie exports from £2,215,881 to £4,666,071, and the 
revenue from £595,556 to £1,039,886. The University 
at the Cape of Good Hope was constituted and es- 
tablished by Act of Parliament in 1873. In 1877 a 
Royal Charter recognising its degrees w^as issued. 

Lord GarnaPYon favours Federation. — In the mean 
time a change had come over public opinion in Great 
Britain on the subject of the Colonies. The spirit 
which had uncompromisingly opposed expansion was 
now dead, and Imperialism had been born. Lord 
Carnarvon, the Secretary of State, was desirous of 
bringing about federation of all South African States. 
The subject was mentioned in the Queen's Speech 
closing the Session in April, 1875, and also by Mr. 
Disraeli, the Prime Minister, at the Lord Mayor's 
Banquet. The idea underlying this policy was ex- 
cellent ; it had many supporters in South Africa — even 
in the Republics — where the people were still smarting 
under a sense of injustice caused by the annexation of 
the Diamond Fields. But Lord Carnarvon failed to 
realise that the impulse towards such a development 
as federation had to be spontaneous, and that by 
attempting to coerce the various states into adopting 
his scheme he destroyed all possibility of its success. 
A conference on the subject assembled in London in 
1 876. At this neither the Cape Colony nor the Trans- 
\iial was represented. The House of Assembly at 
Cape Town had already affirmed the principle that 
any movement towards federation should origmate 
from the Government of the Colony acting in concert 
w ith the Legislature. 


(To 1899) 

The Cape Colony— Bechuanaland— Rhodesia 

Native Unrest.— The Ninth Kaffir War.— Defeat of the 
Gcalekas. — In 1876 there were unmistakable signs of 
unrest among the Natives in the Transkei. Thousands of 
the Xosas had been at work on the Diamond Fields and 
had there been permitted to obtain arms. Kreli's army 
now numbered about twelve thousand men, and there 
were other clans whose relationship to, and sympathy 
with the Gcalekas made it certain that in the event of 
an outbreak they too would rise. The Gcalekas, whose 
numbers had largely increased, cast jealous eyes upon 
the adjacent territory occupied by the Fingos. In 
August, 1877, a wedding-feast was held at the kraal of 
one Ncaicibi, near Bvitterworth, and close to the Gcaleka 
border. This feast was attended by two of Kreli's 
petty chiefs and their followers. A quarrel took place ; 
one Gcaleka was killed and the two chiefs were badly 
beaten. The war-cry sounded and Kreli's warriors 
mustered to be doctored for war. Then the Gcalekas 
poured over the Fingo border and raided stock. On 
September 23 an engagement took place at Gwadana. 
Inspector Chalmers of the Police with eighty Europeans 
and 1500 Fingos were attacked by a Gcaleka army some 
5000 strong. The force had to fall back on Ibeka with 
a loss of its only field-piece, the carriage of which had 
broken down. The Fingos were scattered, the Sub- 
Inspector and six of the Mounted Police were killed. 
The police camp at Ibeka, where Colonel Griffiths was in 
command, was attacked on the 29th and 30th by a con- 
siderable Gcaleka army, which, however, was beaten 
off with heavy loss. In the mean time large reinforce- 
ments were assembled ; these included Mounted Police, 

The Cape Colony- Bechuanaland Rhodesia 297 

N'ohmteers, a levy of Finpos, and a contingent 8iii)plied 
by Gangclizwo, the Tenibu chief. Sevei-al engagements 
followed, in all of which the Gcalekas were defeated. 
By the end of Octol^er the enemy had been driven 
across the Bashec with heavy loss of both men and 

Disbandment of Volunteers. War Renewed.- The 
Rebellion Spreads. — A nnniber of the Volunteers were 
now flisbanded, but it was soon found that the war 
was by no means at an end. The Gcalekas, after 
having placed their women and children in safety in 
the Bomvana country, returned and renewed the 
attack. By the end of December the rebellion had 
spread westward across the Kei and most of the 
Rarab^ clans, as well as a number of Tembus in the 
Herschel District, had risen. In this upheaval Sandile 
took the lead. On February 7, 1878, a decisive battle 
was fought near Kentani, where Captain Upcher was in 
command of 436 Euroi>eans and 560 Fingos. The camp 
was attacked by a mixed force of Gcalekas and Gaikas ; 
both Kreli and Sandile were present. The attack was 
led by one Xito, the war doctor, who had promised that 
his incantations would preserve the tribesmen from 
injury by the bullets of the Europeans. The Natives 
fought with great bravery, but soon realised to their 
cost that Xito's charms had been proved worthless, so 
they broke and fled. Kreli once more crossed the 
Bashee ; Sandile returned to Colonial territory and 
with his followers took refuge in the great Perie Forest 
on the eastward slojie of the Amatole Range. Here he 
was shot in a skirmish on May 29. The territory 
betw^een the Kei and the Bashee was now parcelled 
out into districts over which magistrates were placed. 

Moirosi, Chief of the Baphuti clan, located close to 
Quithing in Southern Basutoland, defied the Govern- 
ment and went into rebellion. This chief occupied a 
natural fortress of great strength, which was besieged 
for many months by the Colonial Forces, and was only 
taken after desperate fighting. 

The " Peace Preservation Act." The Basuto War.— 
In 1878 an Act entitled the " Peace Preservation Act," 
providing for the disai-mament of Native tribes within 
the Colony and in the adjacent territories, wa< p;i--('d 
by the Colonial Parliament. In 1880 an attenii)i was 


A History of South Africa 

made to apply this Act to Basutoland. The Prime 
Minister, Sir Gordon Sprigg, attended a "Pitso" or 

General Assembly of the People, and explained the 
object of the enactment. The Basuto had for years 
past been encouraged to go to work at the mines, on 

The Cape Colony— Bechuanaland Rhodesia 299 

I he tacit understanding that at the end of their period 
ot* service they were to be i^ennitted to obtain guns. 
These they now refused to surrender, and war followtjd. 
This was the first canii)aign of any magnitude carried 
on solely by Colonial troops. The Basuto fought with 
great courage. When the first European column 
crossed the border a troop of yeomanry on the left 
fiank were charged by the enemy at the foot of the 
Kalibani Hill and nearly forty slain with battle-axes. 
The Basuto invariably adopted mounted infantry 
tactics unless Avhen defending fortified positions. 
Pierce but fruitless attacks were made by each side. 
Eventually, after heavy losses, a compromise was 
arrived at. The Basuto made a show of submission 
by surrendering a few thousand inferior cattle, but 
they retained their guns. 

War in Griqualand East.— Action of the Amabaca. 
— The war fever spread over the Drakensberg into 
Griqualand East, as No Man's Land was now called. 
The Pondomisi tribe under Umhlonhlo rebelled and 
murdered their magistrate, Mr. Hope. The Quati clan 
under Dalasili, located on the upjier reaches of the 
Bashee, also sounded the war-cry. There was great 
danger that the Pondos and other tribes in the vicinity 
would also rise, but the Bacas under Makaula in the 
district of Mount Frere declared for the Government, 
attacked the Pondomisi at the ford of the Tina, and 
defeated them. There is no doubt that this action 
of Makaula stemmed the flowing tide against the 
Europeans and prevented a serious catastrophe. A 
large force of Colonial troops took the field against the 
Quatis and the Pondomisi. The Natives were defeated 
and driven into the forests ; all their cattle were 
cai)tured. Dalasile, the Quati chief, was taken 
prisoner ; Umhlonhlo became a fugitive in Basutoland 
with a price on his head. 

Sir Bartle Frere. — Sir Bartle Frere, a distinguished 
Indian administrator, succeeded Sir Henry Barkly as 
Governor and High Conmiissioner in 1877. He came to 
South Africa as a convinced and confessed supporter 
of Lord Carnarvon's ))olicy of confederation. But Sir 
Bartle Fi-ei-e, too, failed to realise that South Africa 
could not be hurried along the difficult path of national 

300 A History of South Africa 

Sir Hercules Robinson. — In 1880 a resolution in 
favour of federation was introduced into the Cape 
Parliament by the Prime Minister, but in the face of 
considerable opposition was withdrawn. Upon this 
being reported to the Secretary of State, Sir Bartle 
Frere was recalled. He was'sueceeded by Sir Hercules 

The Afrikander Bond. — It was at this period that 
the Afrikander Bond came into existence. The Bond 
was a political association mainly composed of Dutch 
farmers which, at its inception, declared its ultimate 
aim to be a united South Africa under its own flag. 
At the same time the existing form of government was 
explicitly accepted. In 1883 the Bond amalgamated 
with the Farmers' Protection Society. Later the 
association came under the control of Mr. Jan Hendrik 
Hofmeyr. A new constitution w^as adopted in 1887 ; 
from this all provisions capable of being construed as 
anti-British were eliminated. Later, the Bond joined 
forces with the South African Party in Parliament 
against the Progressives. 

During 1882 there occurred an outbreak of virulent 
small-pox. The mortality in the poorer quarters of 
Cape Town was very severe. 

Dis-annexation of Basutoland. — Basutoland remained 
in a condition of ferment after the war. An Act w^as 
passed in 1883 dis-annexing the country. On Novem- 
ber 28 a "Pitso" was held at which Captain Blytli, 
the resident, explained to the people the terms upon 
which the British Government would take over the 
country and assume responsibility for its administra- 
tion. Next year Basutoland became a Crown Colony. 

Annexation by Germany. — In 1884 an immense tract 
in South- West Africa was annexed by Germany. This, 
as arranged by subsequent treaty, included the Atlantic 
Coast between Cape Frio and the movith of the Orange 
River, and included all the country eastward to the 
tw^entieth meridian, besides a strip in the extreme 
north-east extending to the Zambezi. From the tract 
are excluded the Guano Islands, twelve in number, on 
the coast of Great Namaqvialand, and Walfish Bay with 
a hinterland of four hundred square miles. The Guano 
Islands had been in the possession of the Cape Colony 
since 1874. Walfish Bay was annexed by Great Britain 

The Cape Colony —Bechuanaland—Rhodesia 301 

ill 1878, but was handed over to the Cape Colony in 

Complications in Bechuanaland. — Under the Keate 
Award, whicli is tioati'd of in another chapter, that 
ast territory, portions of which are occupied by 
liechuana, Batlapin or Barolong tribes, usually called 
Bechuanaland and which lies U) the eastward of the 
Ivalihari Desert, had been cut off from the Transvaal. 
The chiefs of these tribes quarrelled frequently among 
themselves, and a considerable number of Euroi>ean 
adventurers, principally from the Transvaal, were at- 
tiacted by offers of land U) assist respectively the 
\ arious disputants. After these adventurers had be- 
(•<mie sufficiently numerous, they banded themselves 
together in two communities and seized large tracts of 
land in which they established republics. One of these 
was named Stellaland and the other Goschen. Later 
these amalgamated, and the more reckless spirits 
founded yet another republic, Avhich was called Rooi 
Grond. The Batlapin Chief, Mankorane, and the Baro- 
long Chief, Montsoia, complained to the British Govern- 
ment and asked for assistance. The situation was 
complicated by the South African Republic proclaiming 
a Protectorate over the territory involved. There was 
considerable anarchy ; several British subjects were 
murdered. With the object of restoring order, and 
securing the trade route to the North, the British 
Government despatched an expedition to Bechuanaland 
under Sir Charles Warren in 1884. 

A Protectorate declared. — ^^A Protectorate was estab- 
lished, the Reverend John Mackenzie, an experienced 
missionary, being appointed British Resident. He held 
office only for a few months and was succeeded for a 
short period by Cecil John Rhodes, who was now coming 
into political prominence. A meeting took place be- 
tween President Kruger and the Cape Premier, alid an 
agreement was arrived at on the following ba^is — 

(1) Montsoia, who had been driven from his country, 

was to be reinstated. 

(2) The claims of freebooters to land were not to be 


(3) The Imperial Government was to administer the 

whole territory until the government of the 
CaiHj Colony was ready to take it over. 

302 A History of South Africa 

Expedition of Sir Charles Warren.— The British 
force was not resisted. A satisfactory settlement, to 
the terms of which the Native Chiefs gladly assented, 
was effected. Sir Charles Warren's proceedings did not 
meet with the approval of Mr. Rhodes or Sir Hercules 
Robinson, the High Commissioner. But the Secretary 
of State nevertheless endorsed what had been done. 
Bechuanaland was created a Crown Colony, and Judge 
— afterwards Sir— Sydney Shippard was appointed 
Administrator. The railway from Cape Town to the 
north reached Kimberley in 1885 ; that to Colesberg 
vid Cradock was completed during the same year. The 
latter was extended to Pretoria in 1893. A railway 
from East London linked up with the line from Port 
Elizabeth at Springfontein, in the Orange Free State. 

Improved Conditions in Basutoland. — Basvitoland 
continued in a state of anarchy. There were fierce 
inter-tribal fights, and on several occasions the territory 
of the Orange Free State was violated. Colonel — after- 
wards Sir — Marshal Clarke was appointed British Resi- 
dent, and under his beneficent rule order soon succeeded 
chaos. By 1886 the country had completely settled 
down and the consumption of brandy, which had been 
introduced with the connivance of some of the chiefs, 
was very much reduced. 

Yine Disease. — In 1886 the Phylloxera vastatrix 
threatened the vineyards of the Cape with extinction, 
but by means of the introduction of resistant stocks 
the evil was overcome. 

Amendment of the Franchise Law.— An important 
amendment to the franchise law was enacted in 1887. 
The gist of it was as follows : "No person shall be 
entitled to register as a voter by reason of his sharing 
in any communal or tribal occupation." In 1892 the 
property qualification was raised from £25 to £75. The 
effect of these alterations was to disfranchise a large 
number of Natives who lived in locations. 

The Diamond Fields.— Growth of Corporations. — 
In the early days of the Diamond Fields the individual 
digger worked his claim Avith the aid of a few labourers, 
but as the excavations at the Dry Diggings grew deeper 
and deeper, many difficulties arose. Of these the 
principal were in connection with the inflow of water 
and the falling of the " Reef " as the friable surface of 

The Cape Colony— Bechuanaland— Rhodesia 303 

theeontaininK volcanic pipe was tn iiicd. Mmdv dlKgers 
sold their claims to HjHJculators ; later, (•()ini)anic.s were 
formed. Later still the princii)al mines fell into the 
hands of a few cori)orations. The most important 
muie of all was that at Kimberley ; next in importance 
was the otic known as Dc Beers. 

Cecil John Rhodes. The Mines Amalgamated. — 
The former was controlled by Mr. Barnard Barnato, 
the latter by Mr. Cecil John Rhodes. After a great 
struggle Rhodes obtained the mastery, and the whole 
group of mines known as the " Dry Diggings " was 
amalgamated as one vast corpMDration. In drawing the 
trust deed, Mr. Rhodes inserted a proviso giving the 
De Beers Diamond Mining Co., as the corporation was 
called, the right to spend its resources on practically 
any objcjct approved of by the directorate. It was this 
proviso that enabled the British South Africa Company 
subsequently to acquire and open up Rhodesia and 
secure the vast territories beyond the Zambezi. 

Customs Convention. — Treaty with Lo Bengula. — 
In 1888 a Customs Convention was entered into by the 
various South African States, excepting the Transvaal, 
which held aloof. In terms of this a general ad raloretn 
tariff of 12 per cent, was imposed, with higher duties 
on wines and tobacco. A treaty of peace and amity 
was concluded betAveen the High Commissioner and 
Lo Bengula, King of the Matabele, and the huge tract 
between the Zambezi and the Transvaal and as far west- 
Avard a^ the twentieth degree of longitude was pro- 
claimed as within the sphere of British influence. 

Sir Henry Loch. -Bank Failures. — Sir Hercules 
Robinson retired from his post in 1889 and was suc- 
ceeded by Sir Henry Loch, Governor of Victoria. In 
1890 public credit received a serious shock through the 
failure of two banks — " The Cape of Gotxi Hope," and 
the " Union." In the case of the latter, the shares 
imposed unlimited liability uix)n those who held them ; 
consecjuently, many people were ruined. 

The British South Africa Company. Rhodesia. — 
Mr, Cecil John Rhodes and a few of his colleagues 
obtained a concession of mining and trading priAdleges 
in Matabeieland. The British South Africa Company 
was formed and granted a Chartin- by the Imperial 
Government. The extension of its oi>erations to the 

304 A History of South Africa 

Beehuanaland Protectorate and the country north of 
'the Zambezi as far as Lake Tanganyika Avas sanctioned. 
The territory was named Rhodesia. 

The Pioneer Expedition. — A police force was raised 
and a Pioneer Expedition traversed Southern Matabele- 
land and entered Mashonaland. The extension of rail- 
way and telegraph lines northward from Kimberley 
was begun. In 1890 Mr. Rhodes became Prime Minister 
' of the Cape Colony. 

A Census. — According to a census taken in 1891 the 
population of the Cape Colony was as follows : — 

Europeans 376,987 

Kaffirs 608,456 

Fingos 229,680 

Hottentots 50,388 

Malays 13,907 

Other coloured persons . . . 247,806 

Total . . . 1,527,224 

Export of Fruit.— In 1893 a Fruit Growers' Associa- 
tion was formed in the Western Province. The export 
of fruit had now become a very important industry, 
and the trade obtained facijlities from the Administra- 
tion which placed it upon a satisfactory basis. 

War in Rhodesia. — In July war broke out in 
Rhodesia. A Matabele impi raided the environs of the 
village of Victoria and slew a number of Natives in the 
employ of Europeans. No satisfaction could be ob- 
tained from the King. Four hastily-gathered columns 
converged upon Buluwayo, the Royal residence. The 
Matabele were defeated in several pitched battles. Lo 
Bengula fled northward ; Major Wilson with a party 
of thirty-flve pursued him closely, but was cut off by 
the King's bodyguard. After a desperate fight the 
brave band was slain to a man. Soon the Matabele 
submitted, the township of Buluwayo was founded on 
the site of Lo Bengula's blood-stained kraal, and the 
general administration of the country undertaken by 
the Chartered Company. 

The Glen Grey Act. — In 1894 an important measure 
was introduced by Mr. Rhodes, and passed by the Cape 
Parliament. This was the " Glen Grey Act." The 
measure was permissive ; it provided for the survey of 

The Cape Colony— Bechuanaland Rhodesia 305 

hincl, and the substitution of individual for communal 
tcniu'e in areas occupied by Natives. Each district had 
.1 council ; representatives of the district councils met 
and formed a General Council, which had taxing and 
-jx'ndinK powers. Road -making, the formation of 
plantations, and industrial education were also under 
I lie control of the General Council. This system, which 
lias since been applied throughout the Native Territories, 
lias had most excellent results. 

Annexation of Pondoland. — During the same year 
Pondoland was aiinoxed ; a Protectorate had been pro- 
claimed over this territory in 1887. Pondoland was 
Ihe last independent Native state south of Natal. In 
1895 British Bechuanaland became a portion of the 
Ca|:)e Colony. Sir Henry Loch retired, and Sir Hercules 
Robinson (afterwards Loi'd Rosmead) returned to 
South Africa as Governor of the Cape Colony and High 

In 1896 the Batlapin, a degraded Bantu tribe located 
in Southern Bechuanaland, went into rebellion, in which 
they were joined by many waifs and strays from other 
tribes. Under a leader named Luka Jantje the rebels 
took refuge in the arid fastnesses of the Lange Bergen. 
A long and troublesome campaign followed ; in this 
\vere engaged police, volunteers, and Native levies. It 
was nearly ten months before the rebellion was crushed. 

The Rinderpest. — For several years it had been 
known that the plague of rinderpest was steadily 
advancing from the north, destroying practically every 
bovine animal. Herds of buffalos lay dead on its traek. 
Various devices, such as fencing, were adopted with 
the view of fending off the scourge, but it leaped over 
every obstacle. In the middle of 1897, the disease 
broke out in the Native Territories. Fortunately Dr. 
Koch had discovered that the bile of infected animals 
injected into those that were uninfected fortified the 
latter against the disease. It was found difficult to 
induce the Natives to permit the application of the bile 
treatment to their herds. In many instances whole 
districts were cleared of cattle. In others, where the 
treatment was adopted, a fair proportion were saved. 
By the time the rinderpest had reached the herds of 
the Euroi^eans, organisations for the application of the 
bile treatment had been established, and thus the 


3o6 A History of South Africa 

course of the disease was stemmed. Had it not been 
for Dr. Koch's magnificent discovery widespread ruin 
Avould have resulted. 

Resignation of Mr. Rhodes.— The Matabele Rebellion. 
» — On account of his complicity in the Jameson Raid, 
Mr. Rhodes resigned the Prime Ministership and retired 
to Rhodesia. During the absence of Dr. Jameson and 
his force, the Matabele arose in rebellion in March, 1896, 
and murdered 141 Europeans. The Imperial Govern- 
ment sent troops to assist in suppressing the revolt, 
under the command of Sir Frederick Carrington. For 
five months a severe struggle lasted. The Matabele 
found they could make no stand against European 
arms in the open ; accordingly they took refuge in the 
rugged Matoppo Mountains, from which it was found 
practically impossible to dislodge them. A conference 
with the chiefs was arranged, and with great bravery 
Mr. Rhodes, with four companions, ventured unarmed 
into the rebel fastnesses and arranged terms of peace. 

Sir Alfred Milner.— Sir Hercules Robinson, now 
Lord Rosmead, retired, and was succeeded as Governor 
and High Commissioner by Sir Alfred Milner. 

Sir Gordon Sprigg became Prime Minister as Leader 
of the Progressive Party, upon the resignation of 
Mr. Rhodes. A Redistribution Act was passed in 1898. 
This placed the Sprigg Ministry in a minority, so in 
the following year Mr. William Philip Schreiner took 
office with a Ministry representing the South African 
Party. In 1900, during the early stages of the war 
with the Republics, the Schreiner Ministry resigned 
and \yas succeeded by one under Sir Gordon Sprigg. 

(To 1910) 

The South Africa Commonwealth 

Lord Milner as High Commissioner and Governor 
of the Conquered Republics. — Sir Walter Hely Hutchin- 
son. — Lord Milner, retaining his functions as High Com- 
missioner, was appointed Governor of the conquered 
and annexed Republics, which were named respectively, 
" The Transvaal Colony," and " The Orange River 
Colony." Sir Walter Hely Hutchinson, the Governor 
of Natal, succeeded Lord Milner as Governor of the 
Cape Colony. 

An agitation having for its object the suspension of 
the Cape Constitution followed on the proclamation 
of peace. This was supported by Mr. Rhodes and the 
Progressive Party, and had the approval of Lord 
Milner. The petition in favour of suspension was re- 
fused. There happened to be a gathering of the prime 
ministers of the self-governing colonies in London at 
the time when it was presented, and their opinion was 
strongly averse to the proposal. 

Death of Cecil John Rhodes.— His Career. — Mr. 
Rhodes, whose health had been failing for some time, 
died at Kalk Bay on March 26, 1902, before the thunder 
of the guns had ceased. According to his wish, the 
body of the great Empire-Builder was removed for 
burial to the Matoppo Hills. Cecil John Rhodes came 
to Natal in 1870, and began his career as a cofFee- 
planter. He made an immense fortune at the Diamond 
Fields, and entered public life as a member of the 
House of Assembly for Barkly West in 1881. He and 
Paul Kruger were imdoubtedly the two gi-eatest men 
of their generation in South Africa. Rhodes stood for 
British dominion ; Kruger for a state in which Dutch 


A History of South Africa 

ideals should be dominant. Both were conscientious. 
The Dutchman failed to keei) pace with the develop- 
ments of the age ; his outlook was that of a dweller in 
the early seventeenth century. The Bible was to him 
what the Koran is to the orthodox Mahommedan. Its 

Photo : W. (b D. Downey, 57, Ebury Street, London.] 


tenets covered all spheres of human activity ; all know- 
ledge outside its scope Avas superfluous and therefore 
negligible. And his mental poise was such that he was 
apt to regard the teaching of the Old Testament as 
more authoritative than that of the New. Herein lay 

The South Africa Commonwealth 


his strenj^th and his weakness. The Englishman's mind 
outstripped the natural development of his environ- 
ment ; he sought for fruit before the blossoms had 
fallen. The traveller who keejjs to the high-road 
usually reaches the end of the journey before the one 
n lio takes short cuts. 

Death of Paul Kruger. — Within a little more than 
two years Paul Kruger followed his great opi^onent to 

PhoU>: EUinttJkFni.] 


the grave. He died an exile in Switzerland (1904). 
His body was brought back to South Africa and laid 
to rest in Pretoria, the capital of the state he had 
so ably helped to found, and in whose tragic and 
momentous history he had played so strenuous a part. 
Mr. Chamberlain visits South Africa.— In 1003 
Mr. Chambcilain visited South Africa and undertook 
an extended t<mr, in the course of which he listened 
to expressions of the views of various political parties. 

3IO A History of South Africa 

He held out no immediate hope of constitutions being 
granted to the new Colonies. Nominated Legislative 
» Councils were established. In these the Boer leaders 
refused to accept seats. 

The *' Premier " Diamond Mine. — A rich diamond 
mine — " The Premier " — was discovered in the Pretoria 
district. In 1909 the output of diamonds had reached 
1,877,486 carats, valued at £1,176,680. 

The Customs Convention. — A South African Customs 
Convention came into force in 1903. This provided for 
preferential treatment of imports from Great Britain 
and reciprocating British Colonies. Such were allowed 
a rebate of 25 per cent. 

Introduction of Chinese Labour. — After the close 
of the war there was a scarcity of Native labour on 
the Rand. This was, under the circumstances, only to 
be expected. Then the mine-owners decided to reduce 
the rate of wages by nearly 50 per cent. To meet the 
deficiency of labour, the Legislative Council passed an 
Ordinance authorising the introduction of Chinese 
labour. As the " Annual Register " somewhat artlessly 
phrased it : " the mining industry and the official 
hierarchy were as one " on the subject. The Secretary 
of State sanctioned the measure and at once a stream 
of Chinese coolies began pouring in. In 1906 the 
number on the Rand was 51,427. Outside mining 
circles, public opinion was strongly averse to the in- 
troduction of the Chinese. 

Unsatisfactory Results. — The experiment did not 
work smoothly. It was found impossible to confine the 
Chinamen to their compounds ; they broke out from 
time to time and roamed about the country in bands ; 
they committed atrocious crimes. Many were armed 
with knives nearly a yard long. Terror reigned in 
certain localities ; lonely farmhouses were in a state of 
siege. A feeling that the Chinamen must be got rid 
of grew throughout South Africa. Both Australia and 
New^ Zealand had protested against their introduction. 

Mr. Chamberlain resigned his position as Secretary 
of State for the Colonies and Avas succeeded by Mr. 
Alfred Lyttelton. The latter i)ublished the draft of a 
limited constitution for the Transvaal, but not for the 
Orange River Colony. However, in 1905, the general 
election placed the Liberal party in power, and Lord 

The South Africa Commonwealth 311 

lOl^in, the new Secretary of State, immediately an- 
nounced that full responsible government would 
forthwith be granted to both Colonies. Pending the 
constitution for the Transvaal coming into force, he 
prohibited any further introduction of Chinese. At 
this time Lord Milner had resigned, and Lord Selborne 
had been appointed High Commissioner and Governor 
in his stead. 

A Census. — A general election held in the Cape 
Colony in 1004 gave the Progressive Party a majority. 
This was increased through a redistribution measure 
which was shortly afterwards passed. A general 
anmesty to all rebels, ei^cept those convicted of murder, 
^vas now granted. A census was taken throughout 
South Africa; it showed the European population to 
be 1,135,016, and the coloured 5,198,175. In 1905, Lero- 
tliodi, paramount chief of the Basuto, died. He was 
succeeded by his son Letsie. The shadow of general 
commercial depression, the inevitable consequence of 
the long war, fell upon South Africa. 

Responsible Government granted to the Annexed 
Republics. — In 190(5 full responsible government was 
granted to the two new Colonies respectively. It was 
arranged that Native Territories, such as Swaziland, 
were to remain under direct control of the Crown. 
General Botha became the first Prime Minister of the 
Transvaal ; Mr. Abraham Fischer of the Orange River 
Colony. General Botha at once announced that no 
more Chinese would be introduced and that those 
already in the country would be repatriated at the 
expiration of their indentures. Practically no difficulty 
has been experienced in providing an equivalent in 
Native labour. 

Native Rebellion in Natal.— Native unrest in Natal, 
due to imposition of a poll tax, culminated in a revolt. 
A chief named Bambata with his fighting men en- 
deavoured to break through into Zulidand. About 
five thousand Colonial troops took the field. Between 
three and four thousand Natives were killed, with 
hardly any loss to the Eui'opeans. The operations 
came to an end in July. 

Commercial Depression. — Distress due to the com- 
mercial depression deepened thix)ughout South Africa. 
In Cape Town riots took ijlace. 


A History of South Africa 

The railway bridge across the vast gorge just below 
the Victoria Falls of the Zambesi was opened for traffic. 
Thus another stage towards the realisation of one of 
Mr. Rhodes's great conceptions — the Cape to Cairo 
Railway — had been attained. 

The Asiatic Registration Act. — In 1907 the New 















^^^^m- ''*' ,^P^ 






Photo : Bussell & Sons.] 


Parliament of the Transvaal met at Pretoria, and sat 
for only two days. But one measure was passed; it 
met with the support of both political parties. It had 
reference to the registration of Asiatics. At this time 
there were nearly fifteen thousand Indians in the 
Transvaal, many of whom held fraudulent certificates 

The South Africa Commonwealth 313 

of rt'gistration. There was considerable agitation 
anioiig the Indians against the methods of registration, 
\N liich included the giving of finger-print impressions. 
A widespread movement of passive resistance followed. 
After considerable trouble a compromise was arrived 
at, on the basis of i^ersons voluntarily registering not 
being re(iiiired to give their finger-prints. At Johannes- 
burg occurred a strike of white miners, which for a 
linio threatened to disorganise the mining industiy 

J'holo: EUiott A Fry.] 


Unrest among the Zulus. — There were fresh 
symptoms of unrest among the Zulus. One chief who 
liad distingiiished himself by evincing loyalty to the 
(iovernment was murdered. Attempts were made on 
I lie lives of several other loyal chiefs. An exijedition 
was sent to arrest Dinizulu, who, however, vohnitiirily 
gave himself up. A i)reparat<)ry examination in the 
matter of a number of charges of sedition bi*ought 

314 A History of South Africa 

against him was held at Maritzburg. The Chief was 
subsequently tried and acquitted upon all but two 
minor charges. Upon these he was somewhat severely- 
sentenced. Not long afterwards, however, he received 
a pardon. 

A general election in the Cape Colony resulted in 
a sweeping victory for the South African Party. Mr. 
Merriman became Prime Minister ; he was faced with 
a deficit of three million pounds. Stringent retrench- 
ment and increased taxation followed. 

MoYement towards Closer Union. — The question of 
closer union of the different South African States 
was now engaging general attention. It was recog- 
nised that such union was highly advisable. In 1895 
the country had been brought to the verge of war 
through President Kruger closing the drifts of the 
Vaal River in favour of the Delagoa Bay Railway^ and 
against goods imported through the Cape Colony. It 
was evident that the varied and conflicting interests of 
the different States, more especially in regard to rail- 
way matters, were bound in course of time to lead to 
practically irreconcilable disputes ; South Africa had 
to "unite or fight." The first authoritative utterance 
favouring closer union was made by Sir Matthew 
Nathan in replying to an address of welcome on his 
assumption of duty as Governor of Natal. In response 
to an invitation from the Premier of the Cape Colony, 
made with the concurrence of the Executives of the 
various States, Lord Selborne drew np an able memo- 
randum on the subject. There were various schemes 
mooted ; the principal ones being federation of the 
several States or an unconditional union under one 
central Government. In May, 1908, an inter-colonial 
Conference was held, and a unanimous resolution in 
favour of an early union of the several self-governing 
colonies under the Crown of Great Britain was passed. 
' A further resolution contemplating the inclusion of 
Rhodesia at some fviture time was adopted. 

Union of Dutch Reformed Church under one Synod. 
— In 1909 the various branches of the Dutch Reformed 
Church in South Africa resolved to unite under one 

The National Convention. — A National Conven- 
tion was appointed, in which the Cape Colony was 

The South Africa Commonwealth 315 



Prom a photograph by i'eters, rape Town.] 


3i6 A History of South Africa 

represented by twelve delegates, the Transvaal by 
• eight, the Orange Free State and Natal by five each. 
Mr. Hofmey r, who strongly favoured federation instead 
of union, declined to serve on the Convention. 

The National Convention finished its labours in 
February, 1909. An Act providing for the union of the 
four States was drafted. The principal difficulty had 
been in regard to the qualification of voters. In the 
Transvaal and the Free State all persons of colour w ere 
disqualified from the franchise. In Natal svich persons 
theoretically might become enfranchised, but only 
through a process so difficult that it amounted to prac- 
tical disfranchisement. In the Cape Colony Natives 
could qualify for the franchise on the same terms as 
Europeans. As a compromise it was decided that the 
franchise as existing locally in the several Colonies 
should not be disturbed. 

The South African Commonwealth created. — Special 
sessions of the Parliaments of the several Colonies were 
held at the end of March for the purpose of consider- 
ing the Draft Act. The Transvaal Parliament passed 
the latter without alteration. The modifications sug- 
gested by the Parliament at Bloemfontein were unim- 
portant, but in the Cape Parliament various fundamental 
alterations were suggested. The principles of " one 
vote one value," proportional representation, and three- 
membered constituencies were not accepted. The Natal 
Parliament refused to adopt the Draft Act without a 
referendum ; this was taken in June, and the majority 
in favour of union was found to be overwhelming. The 
Convention reassembled at Bloemfontein in May to 
discuss the suggested amendments, and after some diffi- 
culty an agreement was arrived at. Proportional repre- 
sentation and three-membered constituencies were 
abandoned. A delegation in which Mr. Hofmeyr Avas 
included carried the amended Draft Act to England. 
It was passed by both Houses of Parliament and received 
the Royal assent on September 20. Thus, as from 
May 31, 1910, the South African Commonwealth was 

Death of Mr. J. H. Hofmeyr. — Mr. Hofmeyr never 
returned to South Africa. He died in England in 
1909. His body was brought back to the land of his 
birth for burial. Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, although 

The South Africa Commonwealth 


often misunderstood, exercised a beneficent and steady- 
ing iiilliience in South African iMilitics. It was he who 



Photo: Elliott ik Fry.] 


proposed the first feasible scheme of fedei*ation of the 
British Empire, by means of a tax to be levied on ' 


A History of South Africa 

imports, the proceeds of which should be spent on 
Imperial defence. He rather shrank from assuming 

A^N G_yb 

S° U.U \ 35° 

''v/Broejnifontoin ^ > - ^J^ermaritzburg I 

/ ' 1> -. yPurban^PnrtMU^; 

The British Possessions 


Fnprhsh Miles 
o 5c loo 2(X) 300 

20° Longitude East 25° of Greenwich 30° 


^_^^ Emery *alker sc; 

States included in the Union E^S States not in the Union jMtM 

direct responsibility in public affairs, preferring to 
exercise influence from outside the administrative circle. 
His political opponents named him " The Mole." 

The South Africa Commonwealth 319 

The Constitution. 7-According to the Union Act, 
I'lt'toria was constituted the adminintrative capital, 
('a))e Town the legislative cajntal ; whilst the seat of 
I lie Appeal Court was fixed at Bloenifontein. Lord 
(iladstone was appointed Governor-General. General 
Jiotha became the first Prime Minister of the Union. 

The Union Parliament consists of two chambei'S — the 
Senate and the House of Assembly. The Senate is 
composed of forty members, eight being elected from 
each of the four provinces, and eight nominated by the 
Governor-General in Council. Of the latter four are to 
be chosen by virtue of their special knowledge of and 
interest in the Natives. Senators are appointed for 
life, but at the end of ten years changes in the com- 
position of the Senate may be made. The House of 
Assembly is composed of members elected according 
to the existing franchise in the four respective pro- 
vinces. The numbers returned by each province are 
determined by the population. To the first Parliament 
the Cape Colony returned fifty-one members, the Trans- 
vaal thirty-six, Natal and the Orange Free State seven- 
teen each. At or before the expiration of five years 
the House of Assembly has to be dissolved, and a fresh 
election must take place. 

The Racial Bar. — No one may belong to either the 
Senate or the House of Assembly unless he be a British # 
subject of European descent. No analogous racial or 
colour line has been drawn in any other of Great 
Britain's self-governing colonies. 


According to the Census taken in 1911, the population of the 
Union was as follows : — 

Europeans in the Cape Province 582,377 

„ . „ Natal 98,114 

„ the Transvaal 420,562 

„ the Orange Free State . . . 175,189 

Total . . . 1,276,242 

Coloured in the Cape Province 1,982,588 

„ Natal 1,095,929 

„ the Transvaal 1,265,650 

„ the Orange Free State .... 352,985 

Total . . . 4,697,152 

Grand total . . . 5,973,394 


ABEONA, loss of the, 127 
Afrikander Bond, the, 300 
Afrikaner's freebooters, 95 
Alborti, Captain, 102 
Amabaca, the, 230, 281 
Amalinda, battle of, 119 
Amangwane, the, 138 
Angora goats, 145 
Anti-Convict agitation, the, 258- 

Arckel, Rev. J. van, 26 
Asiatic Registration Act, the, 812 
Assenburgh, Governor Louis van, 


Baibd, Sir D., 99, 100, 101 

Bakwena, the, 213 

Bambata, 311, 

Banks, establishment of, 249 

Bapedi, the, 212, 213, 220, 222 

Barberton, 224 

Barbier, sedition of Estienne, 60 

Barkly, Sir Henry, 206, 218, 293 

Barolongs, the, 213, 218 

Basutoland, 293, 300, 302 

Basutos, the, 190, 191, 192 

Basuto War, the, 299 

Batlapin, the, 193, 218, 305 

Bax van Herenthals, Governor J., 

Beachrangers, the, 20 
Beaufort West, district of, 115 
Bechuanaland, 301, 302 
Berea, battle of the, 185, 193 
Bethelsdorp, Mission Station at, 

94, 103. 104, 107, 108 
Bezuidonhout's case, 112, 113 
Bigge, Commissioner John, 134 
Birkenhead, loss of the, 267 
Blaauwberg, battle of. 100 
Black Circuit, the, 107, 108, 113 
Bloemfontein, Convention of, 189, 

194, 201, 202 

Bloemfontein, foundation of, 174 
Blood River, victory at, 165 
Boer War, the, 227 
Boomah Pass, disaster at, 263 
Boomplaiits, battle of, 178 
Borghorst, Commander J., 29 
Boshof, President J. N., 191, 192, 

193, 194 
Botha, General, 311 
Bourke, General, 137, 139, 141 
Brand, President J. H,, 196, 198, 

200, 201, 202, 206, 207, 208, 210, 

211 218 219 
British Kaffraria, 255, 276, 281, 

282, 287, 291 
South Africa Company, 303, 

Bronkhorst Spruit, 222 
Brownlee, Charles, 262, 277, 281 
Buluwayo, 160, 304 
Burger, Vice-President Schalk, 

Burgers, President T. F., 219, 

Bushmen, the, 52, 60, 83, 93, 103, 

Buys, Coenraad, 115 

Cabral, Pedro Alvarez, 10 
Caille, Abb^ de la,*64 
Caledon, the.Earrof,aOi, 104 

River, discovery of, 1 04 

Cam, Diego, 2 

! Cape Colony, handed over to Great 

; Britain, 88 

, retrocession of the, 96 

University, 283 

Carnarvon, Lord, 220, 221, 240, 

Carrington, Sir P., 306 
Oastle, building of the, 27 
Cathcart, Sir George, 184, 185, 
186, 188, 193, 267, 268 



Cattle-killing, the, 279-281 
Cavilhao, John Pedro of, 5 
Cetewayo, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 

Chamberlain, Joseph, 309, 310 
Chard, Lieutenant, 242 
Chavonnes, Governor M. P. de, 

52, 53, 55 
Chelmsford, Lord, 242, 243 
Chinese labour, on the Rand, 310 
Church, building of the first, 48 
Consistories, establishment 

of, 179 
Circuit Courts, establishment of, 

Civil Commissioners, appointed, 

Clarke, General A., 89 
Cloete, Advocate Henry, 232, 233 

, Colonel, 233 

Cole, Governor Sir Lowry, 141, 

Colebrook, Commissioner Major 

W., 134 
Colenso, Bishop J. W., 238 
Colesberg Kopje. See Kimber- 


Colley, Sir George, 222, 223 

Commando, the first, 47 

Congo, discovery of the mouth of 

the, 2 
Constitution granted, to the Cape 

Colony, 271-273 
Cook, Captain, 69 
Coolies, introduced into Natal, 

Copper Ore, 38, 86, 276 
Council of Advice, the, 134 

of Policy, the, 20, 37 

Cradock, Governor, Sir J., 

Craig, General, 88, 89 
Customs Convention, 303, 310 
Cuyler, Colonel, 102, 103, 107, 113 

D'Ableing, J. C, 50, 51 

d' Almeida, Francisco, 11 

Davagul, 21, 24 

De Beers Diamond Mines, 303 

De Jonge TJiomas, wreck of, 71 

Delagoa Bay, 55, 56, 57, 212, 220, 

Diamond Fields, the, 169, 204, 


205, 206, 209, 217, 293, 302, 303, 

307, 310 
Diaz, Bartholomew, 4, 5, 10 
Dingaan, 138, 161, 165, 166, 167, 

Dinizulu, 244, 245, 313 
Donkm, Sir Rufane, 123, 127, 128, 

Dopper Church, the, 215 
Dordrecht, Synod of, 215 
Drake, Sir Francis, 13 
Drakenstein Valley, occupation of, 

Dunn, John, 244 
Durban, 229, 231 

, the siege of, 232 

D'Urban, Sir Benjamin, 144, 146, 

150, 152, 154, 255 
Dutch East India Company, 14, 

85, 89 
Reforinedi Church, the, 158, 

179, 197,215,247,314 

Eastern boundary, the, 68, 73, 

East London, 254, 257 
Elphinstone, Admiral, 88 
Emigrant Farmers, the, 161, 162, 

174, 176, 232, 233 
Eshowe, siege of, 243 
Executive Council, creation of the, 

Exeter Hall, influence of, 103 

Fairbairn, John, 135, 136, 142 
Fairs, periodical, 128 
Faku, 171, 231, 250, 290 
Federation, policy of, 220, 284,294, 

295, 299, 314 
Fingos, the, 147, 281 
Fontaine, Governor Jan de la, 58, 

Fort Armstrong, 265 

Beaufort, 133, 250, 251, 265 

Cox, 263 

Frederick, building of, 92 

Hare, 263 

Peddie, 250, 251, 253 

WiUshire, 128 

Franchise, the, in Natal, 239 

, raised, in Transvaal, 224 

Freebooters, 115, 168 



Frero, Sir Bftrtle, 221, 299 
Frickenius, Capt. S. H.,86 

Gaika, 96, 97, 103, 104, 113, 116, 

Gama, Vasco da, 7, 8, 9, 10 
Gariep. See Oranqe River 
Genadendal, 61, 87 
Georgo, the district of, 104 
Gorman South- West Africa, 300 
Ginginhlovo, action of, 243 
Glenelg, Lord, 147, 149, 160, 152, 

154, 256 i 
Glen Grey Act, the, 304 
Gonnema, Hottentot Chief, 31, 

Goske, Governor Is brand, 30, 31 
GraafT, Governor C. J. van de, 82 
— — Reinet, foundation of, 83 

, insurrection at, 87 

Graharastown, battle of, 121 

, foundation of, lOG 

Great Trek, the, 108, 153-167 

Greig, George, 136, 137 

Grey, Bishop, 257 

, Sir George, 193, 194, 196, 

238, 273, 276, 277, 278, 282, 284, 

Grey College, the, 286 

Hospital, the, 277 

Institute, the, 286 

Griqualand East, 299 

West, 208, 209, 210 

Griquas, the, 114, 168, 169, 191 
Griquatown, 115 
Grondwet, framing of the, 168 
Orosvenor, wrect of the, 80 

HAARLEM, wreck of the, 17, 18 

Hackius, Commander P., 29 

Tlarl)Our construction, 283, 294 

Hay, General, 206,217 

Heald Town, 278 

Heidelberg Catechism, the, 215 

Henry, Prince, " The Navigator," 

Hintza, 104, 146 
Hlol>ano, action of, 248 
Hlnbis, the, 240 

Hofl, the Rev. Dirk van der, 214 
HofTinan, President J. P., 191 
llofmeyr, J. H., 800, 310, 317, 


Hospital, building of a, 43, 71 
Hottentots, the, 20, 22, 30,31, 42, 

47, 52, 68 
Hottentots' HoUand, 30, 32, 33 
Hottentots, the " Magna Charta " 

of the, 104 
Huguenots, arrival of the, 40 
Hutchinson, Sir W. H., 307 

Imbuldmpini, 138 

India, reached by da Gama, 9 

, troops despatched to, 282 

Ingogo River, 222 
Isandhlwana, 242 

Jaabsvbld, a. van, 90 
Jacobinism, 85, 87 
Jagersfontein, 209 
Jameson, Dr., 225 

Raid, the, 225, 226, 306 

Janssens, Governor J. W., 96, 99, 

Johanna, wreck of the, 228 
Johannesburg, 224 
John II., King, of Portugal, 2 
Jorissen, Doctor, 221 
Joubert, Commandant - General, 

183, 212, 222, 223 

Kaffir War, the First, 78 

, the Second, 84 

, the Third, 91 

, the Fourth, 105 

, the Fifth, 119 

, the Sixth, 146 

, the Seventh (War of the 

Axe), 251, 257 

, the Eighth, 263 

, the Ninth, 296 

Kambula, battle of, 243 
Kat River Settlement, 141 
Keate Award, the, 208, 218 
Keiskamma River, the boundary, 

Kemp, Dr. van der, 98, 107 
Kimberley, 208, 209, 303 

Mine, the, 206 

King, Ride of Richard, 232 
King SVilliam's Town, 147 
Kitchener, Lord, 227 
Kok, Abraham, 169 



Kok, Capt. Adam, 95, 1G8, 169, 

170, 171, 174, 206, 290 

, Cornells, 168, 169, 197 

Kokstad, 193 
Kongella, 232 
Kreli, 250, 254, 265, 278, 281, 289, 

Kruger, President, 156, 198, 214, 

216, 221, 222, 224, 226, 301, 307, 

308, 309, 314 
Kuhne, Capt. D., 83, 84 

Laing's Nek, 222 
Lancaster, Captain, 13 
Land tenure, fixity of, 109 
Langalibalele, 240 
Lanyon, Colonel Owen, 221 
Legislative Council, creation of 

the, 146 
Lerothodi, 311 
Library, the South African, 66, 

131, 286 
Liebenbergs, massacre of the, 158 
Lindley, the Rev. Daniel, 179, 

229, 230 
Livingstone, Dr., 213 
Lo Bengula, 303, 304 
Loch, Sir Henry, 303, 305 
Locusts, visitation of, 62 
London Convention, the, 223 
Missionary Society, the, 93, 

115, 116, 168 
Lovedale, 278 
Lucas, Admiral, 90 
Lydenburg, 212, 213, 215, 219 
Lyttelton, Alfred, 310 

Macaetney, Lord, 91, 94 

Mac Mac, Mining Camp, 219 

Mafeking, 225 

Mail Service, the, to the Cape, 

112, 275 
Maitland, Governor Sir P., 248, 

250, 254 
Majuba, 222, 223 
Makana, the Prophet, 118, 119, 

121, 122 
Makapan, insurrection of, 214 
Maqoma, 131, 133, 141, 250, 268 
Maritz, G. M., 156, 160 
Matabele, the, 155, 156, 159, 303, 


Matabele Rebellion, the, 306 
Matiwane, 138 
Maynier, Honoratius, 85, 93 
Merino sheep, 144, 246 
Merriman, J. X., 209, 314 
Meyer, Lucas, 244 
Milner, Lord, 226, 306, 307 
Missions, development of, 143 
Mist, Commissioner, J. A. U. de, 

95, 96, 97 
Molapo, 201 

Molteno, J. C, 288, 291, 295 
Monomotapa, the fabled Empire 

of, 21, 35, 56 
Montsivs^a, 213 
Moravian Society, the, 61, 87, 

143, 250 
Moselele, 213 
Moshesh, 171, 172, 173, 176, 180, 

181, 184, 185, 187, 191, 193, 194, 

196, 197, 198, 200, 201, 202, 203, 

213, 278 
Mounted Police, organised, 267 
Murray, the Rev. Andrew, 179 
Museum, the South African, 276 

Namaqualand, expedition to, 37, 

Namaquas, visit of, to the Cape, 

Napier, Sir George, 231, 246, 248, 

Natal, a distinct Colony, 238 
, a dependency of Cape 

Colony, 234 

, discovery of, 8, 9 

Land and Colonisation Com- 
pany, the, 237 

, Republic of, 229 

Nathan, Sir Matthew, 314 
National Convention, the, 314, 

Ncapayi, 230 
Ndhlambi, 96, 103, 104, 116, 118, 

119, 121, 142 
Ndhlambis, the, 264 
Nederburg, Adv. S. C, 86 
Neptune, the, 260, 261 
New Republic, the, 244 
No Man's Land, 196, 289, 290 
Nongalaza, 166, 167 
Nongqause, 279 
Noodt, Governor P. G., 57 



Oak planting, 39 

Oberholster, Michael, 1G9, 171, 

Ohrigstad, 212 
Orange River, first crossing of 

the, 67 
Ordinance, the 60th, 140, 141 
Ostrich farming, 288 

Paardekraal, meeting at, 222 
Panda, 166, 167, 233, 235, 239, 

240, 245, 265 
Paper money, 86 
Paris Evangelical Society, the, 

Parliament, the Cape, 273 
Peace Preservation Act, the, 297 
Philip, Dr. John, 140, 141, 144, 

146, 148, 161, 169, 257 
Philipolis, 168 
Pietermaritzburg, 166, 229, 233, 

Pilgrim's Rest, 220 
Plettenberg, Governor van, 70, 

71, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78 
Pondoland, 305 
Pondos, the, 171, 231 
Port Elizabeth, 126, 128 

Francis, 133 

Natal, 229, 231 

Nolloth, 276 

Post Office, the Ocean, 15 
Postma, Rev. Mr., 215 
Potchefstroom, 164, 213, 223 

Volksraad, the, 216 

Potgieter, Andries H., 156, 160, 

162, 164, 212, 213, 230 

, Hermanns, 214 

Pottinger, Governor Sir Henry, 

Premier Diamond Mine, 310 
Press, Freedom of the, 136 
, Ordinance regulating the, 

Prester John, 4 
Pretoria, 218, 222 
Pretorius, Andries, 164, 165, 167, 

177, 182, 192, 212, 218, 214 

, A. W. J., 286, 286 

, President M. W., 194, 196, 

215, 216, 217, 218, 222, 232 
Pringle, Thomas, 186, 136 
Provinces, formation of two, 139 

QuALENBEBG, Commander C. van, 

Queen Adelaide, Province of, 146, 

147, 255 
Queenstown District, 268 

Read, Mr., missionary, 94, 107 
Reform Committee, in the Trans- 
vaal, 225 
Reitz, President, F. W., 211 
Rensberg, van, the Voortrekker, 

Researches in South Africa, Dr. 

Philip's, 140, 141 
Resident magistrates, appointed, 

Responsible Government, at the 

Cape, 288, 293, 294 
, in Transvaal and 

Orange River Colony, 311 
Retief, Piet, 160, 161 
Rhodes, C. J., 225, 301, 302, 303, 

304, 306, 307 
Rhodesia, 303, 304 
Riebeck, Jan van, 18, 19, 22, 24, 26 
Rinderpest, 305 
Robben Island, 249 
Robinson, Sir Hercules. Sec 


, Sir John, 245 

Rorke's Drift, 242 

Rosmead, Lord, 226, 300, 302, 303, 

Rustenburg, 212, 213 
Ryksdollar, value of the, 135 

St. Lucia Bay, 246 

Sandile, 260, 251, 264, 265, 262, 

268, 281, 297 
Sand River Convention, the, 183, 

194, 212 
Sdo Jodo, wreck of the, 13 
Schoeman, Stephanus, 215 
Schreiner, W. P., 306 
Scotch Presbyterian Clergy, 

arrival of, 180 
Scurvy, ravages of, 43 
; Sekwati, 212, 213 
i Selborne, Lord, 311, 314 
Separation Movement, in Cape 

Colony, 249 
Settlers, the British, of 1820...12S, 

124, 126, 127, 128, 129, 135 



Setyeli, 213 

Shepstone, Sir Theophilus, 220, 

221, 235, 240, 244 
Shipping disasters, 55, 59 
Sikonyella, 160, 161, 180 
Sikukuni, 220, 222 
Simond, Kev. Pierre, 41 
Simon's Bay, 61, 62 
Slaghter's Nek, 113, 114 
Slavery, abolition of, 150 
Slaves, emancipation of, 50, 102 

, enactments regarding, 37 

Sluysken, Commissioner, 87 
Small-pox, epidemic of, 51, 52, 

66, 67, 68 
Smith, Sir Harry, 174, 176, 177, 

236, 254, 259, 263, 267, 271 
, Captain Thomas, 231, 232, 

233, 235 
Somerset, Lord Charles, 111, 112, 

130, 133, 135, 136, 137, 138 

, Major Henry, 130, 133 

South African College, the, 143 
Commercial Advertiser, 

the, 136, 142, 144, 151, 257 
Spoor Law, the, 117 
Sprigg, Sir Gordon, 298, 306 
Star of South Africa, the, 204 
Stavenisse, wreck of the, 38, 228 
Steamship, arrival of the first, 134 
Stel, Commander Simon van der, 

34, 228 
, Governor W. A. van der, 45, 

48, 49, 50 
Stellenbosch, conflagration at, 51 

, foundation of, 34 

Steyn, President M. T., 211 
Stockenstrom, Capt. Andries, 139, 

148, 149, 251, 253 

, Landdrost, 105 

Stormy Cape, the, 5 
Stuurman's freebooters, 144 
Sumptuary Laws, 40, 66 
Supreme Court, establishment of 

the, 139 
Swaziland, 223 
Swazis, the, 220, 222 
Swellengrebel, Governor H. , 59, 

60, 62, 63 

Taaibosch, Gert, 180 
Table Bay, annexation of, by an 
English Commodore, 16 

Table Bay, a place of call, 14, 53 
, occupation of, by Dutch 

East India Company, 18 
Tas, Adam, 49 
Thaba Bosigo, 194, 198, 200 
Thaba-Ntshu, 156 
Title Deeds, registration of, 40 
Tongaland, 245 
Touwfontein, the fight at, 172 
Transkei, abandonment of the, 

Transvaal, annexation of the, 

Triechard, the Voortrekker, 155 
Tshaka, 138, 147, 217, 229 
Tulbagh, Governor Ryk, 60, 64, 

65, 66, 69 
Tyume, massacre of Settlers, 2G3 

UiTENHAGE, district of, 97, 102 
Uithalder, William, 265, 268 
Uitlanders, the, 225, 226 
Ulundi, battle of, 243 
Umbulazi, 239 
Umhlakaza, 279, 280 
Umkungunhlovu, 160, 161, 164, 

Umlanjeni, 262, 268 
Umziligazi, 159, 217 
Union of South Africa, the, 316, 

Union Steamship Company, the, 

Usibepu, 244 

Utrecht, the Kepublic of, 215 
Uys, Pieter, 160, 162, 163 

Vadana, 281 

Vagrancy, increase of, 151 
Vechtkop, the Laager at, 158 
Vereeniging, Treaty of, 227 
Vergelegen, 48, 49, 50 
Victoria Falls Bridge, 312 
Viervoet, battle of, 181 
Voortrekkers, the, 155 

Wagenaar, Commander Z., 26, 

Walfish Bay, 300 
Warden Line, the, 193, 194, 197 
, Major, 173, 174, 176, 177 



Warren, Sir Charles, 302 
Waterboer, Andries, 144, 168, 109, 

, Nicholas, 197, 206, 208, 210, 

Wavern, the land of, 45, 61 
Weenen, 162, 229 
Wesselton, 209 

West, Lieut.-Qovornor M. T., 236 
Willshire, Colonel, 121 
Wilson, Major, 304 
Wine-making industry, 22, 68, 

246, 284, 302 
Witwatersrand, the, 224, 245 

Woclehoue>9, Sir Philip, 197, 200, 
202, 287, 289, 292 

Wolseloy, Lord, 221, 222, 240, 243 

Woltemaade, Wolraad, 71 

Wood, Sir Evelyn, 223 
} Worcester, District, 115 

1 Young, Governor Sir G., 94 

ZOUTPANSBEEG, 155, 200, 213, 

215, 217 
Zululand, 239, 243, 244 
Zulu War, the, 242, 243 
i Zuurveld, the, 83, 102, 109, 117 










>f bVERDUE. 






M 29 '63 1 

>y1AY x 


IA« 161948 


A s ^ • > 


JAN 7 1%S 5 




■<««• LJ' .£«i»«L«/ 

^'66 -7PM 

UN 2 1 951 


EC 7 1357 

LD 21-l00w-7,'39(402s) 

YB 34429